A few months back, I chaired the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) strategic summit on social marketing. I had a chance to talk to executives working with some of the biggest players in social media, including Hewlett-Packard, Intel, IBM and Xerox, along with a lot of small and medium-sized company CEOs and marketing directors about their social media needs and plans.
Unsurprisingly, social-media strategy was consistently within those CEOs top three to-do items. They were primarily concerned about mitigating threats to their reputation and, secondarily, wanted to take advantage of viral-marketing opportunities in the fear that they could be left behind by more nimble, far-sighted or cutting-edge competitors. In both cases, their view of social media, if they were to be completely honest, was often one of fear and trepidation.
Managing social media is time consuming and marketing departments still need to do everything they’re already doing. In smaller companies, they literally have no new staff to handle this, and in mid-sized companies they usually have one person. Simply put, these marketing departments feel overwhelmed and a bit confused.