Tech companies miss the point of social media

Social media, Twitter in particular, is awash with “Social Media Gurus” who appear to be random quote generators (ahem) with no real content. Biographies tend to say “Loving father, geek, social media enthusiast” or something along those lines. Yeah, yeah, social media is the buzzword flavour of the Web 2.0 month but it is important too.

Particularly if you’re a brand or a company trying to spread your message. The great thing about social media is that it allows an interaction between people (hence ‘social’) as well as the opportunity for great content to spread like wildfire. Companies and brands are starting to wake up to this – if they want their messages perceived the way they want to show themselves to the public, they need to interact. 

You’d think tech companies in particular would be clued up enough to realise this, but the fact is, they’re not. Plenty of companies are signing up official company profiles across the board because they’ve heard somewhere, maybe on a blog, maybe down the pub, maybe after a meeting, that they have to. The thing is, according to a report from Wildfire, almost half aren’t bothering to actually chat to people. Which is kind of the whole point.

43 percent of tech brands with a registered account, according to the report, have never bothered to reply to a tweet. That’s despite 90 percent being registered and having some sort of presence on at least two social networks. 

Twitter is the most popular network used by tech companies with 74 percent of respondents saying they had an account registered. It was followed by LinkedIn at 72 percent then Facebook at 20 percent. Most companies think that social media networks work just one way, with 60 percent saying Facebook is purely a distribution channel while 57 percent with Twitter accounts use it solely for marketing and not interacting.

Worse still is that tech companies haven’t as a whole had the initiative to reply to feedback from audiences – and if a company has an audience, it means a potential customer. 66 percent of Facebook pages received comments from users, but a huge 75 percent didn’t bother to reply. Just 12 percent of company tweets in the study were replies. 

What’s the point!?

Again, we suspect because the social medium is free to sign up to brands and companies think it’s worth a shot. But what may cost in the end is the negative reputation a brand may acquire by appearing stuck-up or disinterested to potential interested parties. 

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The tech firms included are the top 50 growing companies in the UK, from the Deloitte Fast Tech 50 2009.