Over 50% of Canadian Companies Don’t See Social Media as Important

This chart from SAS and featured in the Mar/Apr issue of Advantage Magazine (disclosure: they are doing an editorial piece on Mi6 and Silicon Halton for an upcoming issue) shows how “important” social media is for brand engagement for Canadian companies. I’ve got a note in to SAS Canada to find the original report, if I get my hands on it, I’ll provide a link or direct download.

Some Thoughts to Consider

  • If you think social media should play a role, find out if the markets and customers you serve are using social media first. Consider using Forrester’s POST framework. Here’s a post on Forrester’s POST method entitled: Strategies for Tapping the Groundswell
  • More consumers and business are using social media. Keep this in mind, especially if you’ve written social media off as a fad. Here’s some data on daily use by consumers of social media that you may find interesting.
  • As a brand manager you need to think about engaging WITH customers and prospective customers. Think customer and market engagement not brand engagement. I may be splitting hairs but this is a fundamental difference in how to think and prioritize
  • Engagement means response and interaction. So, don’t use your social media channels for one way broadcasting. Also, be prepared to respond, (BTW, this applies to business professionals and politicians using social media) to people. Your goal is to establish your own social network
  • Have a defined definition of engagement and measure it. I like KD Paine’s Phases of Engagement from her book “Measure What Matters”. They phases, ranked by level of engagement, are: Lurking, Casual, Active, Committed and Loyalist
  • We ARE in a new era of marketing and sales in my opinion. Buyers are interested in interaction and relationship building. While there is a place for outbound promotion and communication the other shoe has dropped and marketers must strategically think and act on using social media to discover, create and develop relationships with their customers and their markets

Questions and Conversation

Are you a Canadian company using social media to engage with your customers and prospective customers? How’s it working for you? Are you avoiding social media because you think it’s a waste of time? There’s no simple answer here. What matters is having a conversation about this topic so we can learn and share our experiences and help each other.