You know, it's a great thing we have the Big 4, Robert Half, Accountemps and others to spend their precious time pestering CEOs, CIOs, HR managers, CFOs and average grunts with surveys or else we might never know things we already know, like that business use of social media is on the rise:
Deloitte’s fourth annual chief information officer (CIO) survey found that those some 60 per cent of businesses have developed a mobile app in the last year, primarily as a result of customer demand. The use of social media has almost doubled over the past two years too, with 73 per cent of organisations now using it to connect and communicate with customers.
But wait, not so fast! Even the spammiest of social media gurus can tell you that just existing on social media isn't nearly enough, you also have to – gasp! – know what you are doing.
UK Deloitte Digital partner Royston Seward is kind enough to break this down for the social media-challenged out there. If only he'd mentioned nonsensical overuse of hashtags and we might think it's a subtle jab at PwC:
Organisations rush to do this without thinking about what they’re trying to achieve.
It might be that an app isn’t the right thing to do. You need to think through what you’re trying to achieve and how you’re trying to achieve it. Doing digital channels badly can be worse than not doing it at all.
I can’t think of any organisation that shouldn’t at a minimum be looking at what people are saying about them and their competition. I think there is value. It’s all about how much investment you want to make in it for what return.
WOW YOU DON'T SAY, BRO! Oh sorry, that should be #WOW #you don't say #bro. No wonder my esteemed colleague Mr Greg "Monkeylover" Kyte loathes surveys, they tend to lead to the most obvious of conclusions that even a group of paste-eating 3 year olds could come to. It's almost like that's the whole point huh guys! Are these guys actually telling us that with approximately 70 gazillion iPads shipped to date and more people owning crappy, data plan sucking smartphones than ever, demand for mobile apps is on the rise?? I am shocked by these results!
But this Deloitte Digital guy does have a point. Looking at the firms' social media habits, at least on this side of the pond, it seems more like shouting on the corner with a bullhorn and less like engaging, which is the social component of social media. Just because you slap a firm logo on a firm Twitter account and start tweeting about boring ass shit no one cares about like IFRS webinars and lease accounting doesn't mean you're actually doing it right. I'd say the only big firm that has mastered the true art of social media would be E&Y and they're really pushing it with that @EYstaff account of theirs. But hey, at least they're responding to people on their careers Facebook page and making it appear like they aren't just robots shouting into the digital abyss one stupid hashtag at a time.
So maybe that was the point of this survey; not that more businesses are using social media (duh) but that many of them really have no idea what they are doing. The formula is not 1. Join Twitter 2. ???? 3. Profit, it's far more complicated than that. I am not exactly sure what the formula is but I know for a fact it is not that.
If anyone figures out a way to explain this to the many, many firms who cannot seem to grasp this important point, please tweet them ASAP. They'll probably be too busy blabbering on about how everyone better get to the cloud this second to respond but hey, at least you tried.