It's easy, it's cost effective, it's a great promotion gig in the hands of big and small businesses alike.
Well we too believed that but stats show a different hue!
While most businesses and top corporations rely majorly on Facebook and Twitter to garner a wide client base, there are also others who have walked out of active networking to solely concentrate on traditional methods of conducting business.
Surprising right! But its absolutely true. So does that mean social media is no longer the table turner?
According to a survey by Domo and CEO.com, this conflicting trend points at the lack of management skills by businesses to handle the "free-flowing, round-the-clock social media, its public nature and the expectation of immediate responses". Oh that's not all, there's more baffling statistic in tow still.
Furthermore, the top listed 10 CEO's of Fortune 500 firms globally, 7 of them had no real presence on popular sites like Facebook or Twitter. The survey, hinting at the obvious lack of social media participation by CEO's, also revealed an exclusive preference for LinkedIn; otherwise not much popular among the common web users.
In fact data, specific to the US too substantiates this trend, with as many as 26% of these CEO's having only LinkedIn account. In contrast, 50% of the US general public prefered to be on Facebook while 30% used Twitter.
With billions of users to their credit shouldn't these sites be the obvious marketing model? But the results are disturbing, hinting at a social media fatigue that's been incurred. A fair reason why most of these CEO's abstain from social media is its overcrowding. They already have a name and market reputation; they don't have to exactly vie for clients like other small businesses. And do they lack other logistical resources.
In contrast, a very under-rated reason that usually is sidelined is the reluctance on the part of top firms to completely abandon their old style business model despite embracing innovation with one hand. Some CEO's do not actually know the workings of social media platforms and prefer to let the 'support guys' handle the marketing task.
Award-winning marketer and blogger, Danny Brown makes a very valid point in the context of permission marketing. "For most social networks – Facebook, Twitter, etc – you still use the opt-in process. So, I need to physically sign up to use Twitter’s platform if I want to tweet. For the most part, this is how social platforms work. Then social scoring arrived and opt-out seemed to be the new opt-in."
The trend is not restricted to big firms alone, some of the smaller businesses too are feeling the heat and have opted out.
To share a more recent mover in this sphere of opt-out's is Charter, the 4th largest cable provider in the US. With a wide customer base in as many as 25 states, they winded up their customer support team in December 2012.
Another popular store, Wegmans in Massachusetts too have taken this road. Their spokesman , Jo Natalie says "In a retail operation like ours, there isn't anyone sitting at a PC or checking a mobile device throughout the day. It's a fast-paced business that requires our people to be on the floor serving customers."
Josh James, founder and CEO of Domo opined that "We really expected to see more social engagement from CEO's, especially since the benefits of social media are no longer just wishful thinking...As consumers become more social savvy, so must company leaders."
Whatever said and done, it's an astounding find. Here are some of the other notable Fortune 500 CEO survey findings:
1. Among the 20 Fortune 500 CEOs who have opened Twitter accounts, 5 have never tweeted. Surprisingly, Larry Ellison of Oracle was a last minute entry into the list for he had recently joined the Twitter fray.
2. On an average, each of these CEO on Twitter had 33,250 followers to their credit.
3. The now infamous Rupert Murdoch with a whopping 249,000 followers, was the most-followed Fortune 500 CEO, ahead of Meg Whitman of Hewlett-Packard who topped the list previously.
4. Of these Fortune 500 CEOs, 10 of them had more than 500 LinkedIn connections, while 36 CEOs had 1 or no LinkedIn circle to speak of.
5. When it comes to sharing personal experiences, only 6 CEOs active on the blog scene. John Mackey of Whole Foods alone enjoyed the laurels for maintaining his own blog.
6. Don't they say save the best for the last. So here it is! None of these Fortune 500 CEOs were on Pinterest.
Having laid the cards clean and straight readers, we ask you what's your take on this disturbing new development. Leave us a reply in the comments section below.