Web 2.0 Without a Paddle

A recent SHRM survey shows that businesses are making use of new social media technologies – although not necessarily to their best advantage. For instance, while 40% of companies surveyed enforce specific policies for their social media actions (and 39% monitor their employees’ social media use on company networks), only 28% of organizations actually have social media strategies in place. A meager 21% bother to calculate their social media ROI. And only 12% of companies surveyed have at least one full-time employee whose primary job function is to manage Web 2.0 efforts.

It’s great to see businesses engaging with social media, and in some cases devoting human resources to their efforts. However, the SHRM survey results show that most organizations have a long way to go before they reach a high level of social media sophistication. No organization should be testing the Web 2.0 waters without a coherent digital marketing plan in place. And it’s simply a waste of time and resources to implement social media strategies without also analyzing the return on investment.

Creative, well-strategized use of social media can improve brand awareness, customer engagement, and product perception. However, a mismanaged campaign can alienate customers, muddle a brand’s message, and create bad press. That’s why it’s so important for businesses to not only establish a presence on social media networks, but also to do so within the context of a cohesive, integrated digital strategy.

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