IBM says Businesses are Missing the Mark with Social Media

By March 25, 2011Social Media


  • Lisa Gerber says:

    Hi Marijean,
    When it comes to the big corporates, I’d say that people want them for customer service issues and to COMPLAIN. In rare cases, it would be to connect emotionally, but the person behind the logo has to be really good and unrestrained from huge corporate policy.

    OTher than that, I totally agree with you and that people want big discounts. : )

  • Alice says:

    I’m both surprised and unsurprised by IBM’s findings. Depends upon who is doing the thinking and asking, I suppose. There’s something mildly charming about believing that people who are inundated with generically-directed “information” are approaching big labels to feel a part of something… How the heck would I go about feeling like a “part” of Tide, much less its parent company?

    If it’s Sundance, Greenpeace, or some other niche? Maybe. A little. I wonder, though, how much that relationship would really be about having other people see the affiliation and draw conclusions about my cool factor.

    People get turned on by interacting with people. I remember stumbling onto the blog of a minor celebrity once, a few years ago. In it, he posted something about a gold he was dealing with. I mentioned a remedy I use, ever since encountering it in France, where it is very popular. He knew exactly what I was talking about, having had a similar experience, and replied, saying as much. I read his blog for another year, afterward, not because of his social status, but because I thought it was cool to connect with someone who had a shared reference for a small detail of my life story. I doubt this response is unusual–though I’ll leave it to others to decide whether or not that doubt is grounded in reality.

    As for companies who want to befriend me to learn about me as a marketing opportunity, fair enough–as long as you don’t clutter my feeds or use up my time in ways that I find annoying. I mean, I have no objection if you’d like to have a relationship with my car, soap, or trash bag brand. Please do. While they may not be gratified overtly, they’re unlikely to be offended … overtly. I, on the other hand, prefer to play the role of Useful Object when there’s a paycheck attached to the title.

    Another thought: what if the companies were lying? What if they told the “Folks Visit Our Site In Order To Feel Like A Part Of Something” story to elevate the perception of the experience of being their customer? What if they know good and well that people visit for the samples, coupons, and other “Aha! This Is What’s In It For Me” stuff, but would find it diminishing to say so? Imagine the volume of human creative capacity being drained into that particular septic think tank!

    Cynical? No. And I’m not above the occasional product placement and/or endorsement. I’m just not interested in Tweeting/blogging/talking about it unless something extraordinary happens. Apart from the first time I tried on a pair of Keens, I don’t think I’ve ever had an extraordinary footwear moment.

    Your brand of common sense makes me feel smart. Fact.


  • Alice says:

    Umm… he wasn’t dealing with a gold. He had a cold. The difference seems significant to the story. I’m not aware of remedies for gold.

  • I agree with Lisa. I study big brand Facebook Pages and the engagement levels are very poor except for brands with pissed customers or the very rare brand people are extremely into like a Music Artist or Skateboard Clothing Company.

    Then there is the volume problem. The more people in your network on twitter and facebook the less chance you will see an individual post or tweet. So people may follow or fan but if they don’t see your activity it goes no where.