There are very few social media marketing programs that scale to the point where they can truly be useful to multi-billion dollar companies. But why is that?
Part of the problem, as I have described before, is self-inflicted. Many CMO’s know they need to dabble in the space, but that is all they do – run small pilot programs that don’t make a difference. The problem with this approach is that the dynamics of small scale social media programs are very different from large scale social media campaigns. So what may work in large programs will not work in pilot programs and the lessons learned from pilot programs may not be applicable to large scale implementations.
Another self-inflicted cause is that many marketers focus on finding the silver bullet – the one program that will truly move the needle. When you have a multi-billion dollar operation, that is not likely to happen. You need to think about how to leverage social media as part of everything you do – your lead generation, your efforts in causes and disaster relief, your employee communications, etc.
But there are other constraints to the scalability of social media programs that are based on the marketplace. If Bank of America, Intuit, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard and countless other companies all try to set up small business communities, they will not all work. A busy person will only be able to actively participate within a few communities – there is no way they will engage with more than a handful of them, especially not if they all have the same focus.
There may be other market constraints – such as your addressable audience through social media. But with multi-billion dollar companies that is less likely to be the case.
What do you think? Are scalability issues mostly self-inflicted or are they for real?