Social media for companies: What's working?

If you want to know whose using Social Media in the corporate world, here is a list of 35+ Examples of Corporate Social Media in Action from Mashable. If that’s not enough for you, here is a further list of 130 Social Media Marketing examples from major companies. Some are surprising, for example even British Airways as is getting in on the act with a Twitter account listing flight specials.

It got me thinking about who is doing what locally. Here’s my own list that I came up with (please feel free to add or let me know of any omissions):



Low take-up so far
It’s interesting to note how low the take-up is on many of the corporate social media accounts and groups that I looked at. Where the numbers are public, such as on Twitter and Facebook, they’re relatively inconsequential. In contrast, however, the blogging numbers are most likely to fare much better. It’s difficult to tell for sure because the blog numbers aren’t public — but if online media blog traffic is anything to go by, blogs are probably the most successful of all the social media tools.

Surprisingly, British Airways’ Twitter account has only around 200 followers — this from one of the world’s largest airlines with millions of customers? It may be a maverick Twitter account that’s probably not being promoted properly. Also, a closer look at the account does reveal it’s set up by a subsidiary, “British Airways North America”.

Locally, Absa Bank has only about 3,000 fans on Facebook, despite being advertised boldly on its well-trafficked homepage. It may be a good start, but paltry compared to their customer base and reach. BMW’s Facebook group is probably the largest and oldest of them all, but still only has around 4,000 fans — a loyal fan base, but a drop in the proverbial ocean? On the other hand, BMW could argue that 4,000 potential BMW sales is valuable. BMW is a brand that should work well in a social media context as it’s a lifestyle brand people want association with.

But why the low numbers? Is it because social media in the corporate context isn’t working? Or could the problem be that it’s not being executed, implemented or integrated properly in some instances? Is it that for some companies a Facebook or Twitter account is not a good fit, whereas a blog may work better, or the other way round? Do we still need to find the magic ingredients, or is it a case of early days and untold potential?

Matthew Buckland: Publisher


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