A couple of interesting news items on social media came across my desk today. One was an article in a business journal about a social media contest the publication is sponsoring. It noted that of the 32 entries it had received to-date, 28 were from small businesses. Very few of the larger companies the writer contacted for the article were actively pursuing social media. Of those who did, most reported using it to communicate with employees or existing customers.
This has been our experience as well. Social media is a boon for smaller businesses, for whom traditional advertising and marketing can be cost-prohibitive. It’s an inexpensive way to reach potential customers quickly and efficiently and, in many cases, it can lead to rapid increases in sales and profits. It also works well for larger companies that sell directly to consumers.
For large business-to-business firms, social media is less likely to produce immediate results. The hierarchical structure of most large companies can make them less flexible when it comes to communicating, and flexibility is the hallmark of social media messaging.
The second piece of news is a report on Facebook fan pages in PR Daily. Apparently, brand promotion through Facebook is a dud with millennials – those cherished consumers born between 1980 and 2000. According to a recent survey of college students, while 86 percent of millennials visit Facebook every day, only 1 percent visit a brand page daily. If they are fans on Facebook, it’s usually for an organization they are personally involved with, such as a nonprofit organization or a sorority. This seems to be yet another example of social media tools being used to communicate with people who already know you.