Split Personalities

All of us who are active online face, from time to time, digital overload.  As individuals, we might be active on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google + and a host of smaller or emerging social sites such as Pinterest.  It can be exhausting – remembering to check-in, write a review, etc.  Companies and brands face a similar situation which is magnified many times over.  The big difference is I only have to worry about one account per platform and I’m…well…me!  I don’t have to monitor anyone else posting on my behalf.  The issues of social media guidelines, who owns a brand online, and how an employee’s activity online reflects on the company for which they work are big issues.

All of these came to mind as I read a new study from The Altimeter Group the other day.  Let’s see what you think.

According to the study, which is called “A Strategy for Managing Social Media Proliferation:

Like a disease, social media proliferation will leave companies crippled unless they develop a strategy to manage now.  Some companies have opened a virtual Pandora’s box:  We found that global corporations are struggling to manage an average of 178 business-related social media accounts—a number likely to grow if unchecked.  Beyond coordination challenges, unchecked accounts and disparate customer interactions expose brands to a host of legal, compliance, and fragmented brand-perception risks.  Internally, few companies are prepared with proper roles, education, or clearly defined goals.  Externally, brands are confused by dozens of vendor options.

The document breaks down the company-owned 178 social media accounts mentioned above to include an average of 39.2 Twitter accounts, 31.9 blogs and 29.9 Facebook accounts. Forums and message boards were more popular than YouTube, with an average of 23.4 accounts per company, compared to YouTube’s 9.4.  You think YOU have digital overload!?!?

One issue I discuss with clients whenever we chat about social media is how to control, monitor, moderate where needed, and promote their efforts.  All of the above obviously takes resources of both time and money.  The Altimeter study shows that many of the companies surveyed didn’t know how they would respond to an increasing number of customer conversations.  I wonder how, with 178 personalities, they can respond coherently even when they do find the time.

This an issue you’re facing?  Let us all hear about how you’re solving it and let me know how I can be helpful.

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