Corporations at Risk From Social Media Adoption Issues

While many people are finding it challenging to make time to manage multiple social networks, many businesses are faced with even steeper challenges. Connecting with friends is one thing, while managing customer service, marketing, consumer experiences, research and development, community management and more through social media is a larger affair. Managing these issues at a corporate level is an even more monumental concern.

The latest report based on research done by the Altimeter Group , and authored by Jeremiah Owyang, reveals that a "fire, ready, aim" approach to social media is leaving many enterprise level companies in tenuous situations. Through a study of 144 enterprise-class corporations, 27 vendors in over 500 fields and 71 industry experts, brands and vendors, Altimeter discovered that global corporations are trying to manage an average of 178 business-related social media accounts.

This unsustainable trend, though it includes many abandoned accounts, is rapidly increasing while companies are adopting new social technologies. The genie is out of the social media bottle and he's creating new technologies and tools at dizzying speeds.

Many of the social management vendors have tools that are helpful though needing a lot of maturity which is another factor in this problem. One vendor may be a great choice to help with customer response, but be weak in areas like social broadcasting, platform campaign design, distributed brand presence and service and support. Because of this, multiple vendors with some overlapping features and missing features may be required for a company's social media needs to be met. This is the equivalent of a ball of string after cats have played with it.

The rate at which brands have unsystematically tried to catch up with emerging social technologies has left many of them with good results despite a lack of planning. This luck may or may not run out without creating supportive systems.

Fortunately, there are ways to rectify these issues. Pragmatic recommendations round out the strategy for managing social media proliferation, including how to get your company ready, choosing the right vendors, and rolling out your strategy. Altimeter's report ends with a checklist of eight requirements for launching and maintaining a social media account that is worthwhile for companies of any size to review.

Communication strategies were the one area I thought was missing in this comprehensive and helpful report. Strategy and tools are the foundation for successful social media marketing and management, but they are deficient without people using them with effective communication skills that connect with, and attract, customers.

After reading this report my question to you is what your company experience has been with social media. Have you run across these matters? What are the negative issues and positive results you've experienced in managing them?