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Big business struggle with using social media

The growth of social media is a global one, and is changing the way that content and information is distributed. More and more people are using it, and it is having a greater impact. So how come many big businesses are still not embracing it? Social media is changing the ways consumers related to brands, and are commenting on brands. The consumer has more ability than ever to let businesses know what they think about their products and services. However, the old media is not completely outmoded, and thus many big businesses are still struggling to embrace this social revolution. Here is why:

1. It is thought of as just another way to market. One of the biggest mistakes a big business can make is undervaluing the impact of social media. If social media is often viewed as just another marketing channel, they lose opportunity to use it for more than that. Of course it is a place that one can advertise, true. However, it also offers the opportunity to interact with consumers and customers in a whole new way. It opens the door to create communities, share content, and listen to and interact with your consumers. It is not the advertising, but the sharing and relationship forming that brings the biggest return on investment when it comes to social media, and that is often more elusive to define in terms of measurements and quantifiable data.

2. It is hard to determine where it falls. One of the many reasons big businesses may not embrace social media is that they are not sure how to fit it into their organization. Is it PR? Is it marketing? Is it communications? Is it content production? Is it IT and web development? The truth is that it is not easily fit into the traditional structures, but rather it is a combination of all, which is why it is generally so effective. However, for a big business, this poses the problem of who should take the responsibility for a social media campaign.

3. Social media is a global network, and many big businesses do not have a global or international perspective or structure, thus it is hard to wrap the mind around where to begin. Most marketing and PR departments are regional, and have defined geographic borders, this is not the case with social media, as it is a form of communication and content, and a way to form communities despite geography, not because of it.

4. It has to be creative and relevant. One of the struggles many big businesses find is that the approach for gaining notice is so different on social media than it is elsewhere. On social media outlets, if your content, posts, etc. are not interesting and relevant to your audience, you will not see a response.

5. The metrics are different. Instead of number of page views, it is how many times someone interacts with you, which translates to smaller numbers. It is often difficult for big businesses to see how smaller numbers can have greater impacts.

6. It takes time. Most people would readily agree that social media is something that should be looked at as a long term activity. The reason is that you are not just using it to advertise, but to build relationships, and distribute content, get involved, etc. This takes time, and continued involvement, not a clear set deadline and short term objectives. It is a long term, if not permanent approach, to help businesses better communicate with, understand, and form relationships with consumers. If looked at in any other way it becomes an absurdly long approach to marketing.

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