Accelerating Change in Social Media

For many of us in corporate, marketing and investor communication, trying to keep up with the accelerating change in social media is like sticking our toe in a river: we get a quick feel for the temperature, but the water rushes past so fast it’s hard to figure out how to get to the other side, or even how to swim with the current.

According to a recent study, 79 percent of the largest 100 companies in the Fortune Global 500 index are using at least one of the most popular social media platforms. Companies are moving away from a simple broadcast aproach to an interactive process, where they post and answer comments on Facebook and Twitter—rather than treating social media as simply a landing zone for corporate updates.

Ready. Shoot. Aim.

In these rapidly developing social media channels, it may be tempting for companies to respond tactically, just to try to keep up. But as with most forms of communication, having a plan helps. “Ready, shoot, aim” may be a tempting stop-gap for time-starved corporate communication teams, but in today’s rapid response world, using social media tools without a strategy is likely to miss your target and produce unwelcome surprises.

Integration Makes It Go

When corporations synchronize their social media into an integrated platform, they help create a cohesive brand experience for their customers, shareholders and other critical audiences. When you consider that social media are forms of two-way communication and not just one-way broadcasting of messaging, the opportunity to succeed is considerable, and the penalty for failure is consequential—like having your brand trapped in an echo chamber.