In a research report from Adam Sartner of Garner, analyzed here by CNET's Caroline McCarthy, it is predicted that while some 75% of Fortune 1000 companies will use social media for marketing and/or customer relations campaigns, that 50% of those campaigns will fail.
But why? Mostly because companies won't have clearly defined goals or easily executable visions. They'll be jumping in - just to jump in - because it's the trend or because a hugely successful social media campaign gets lots of buzz and they try to replicate it.
Of most importance here are goals and expectations. If you expect your bottom line to go up noticeably right after putting up a Facebook and MySpace page the way it might spike after a huge direct email or Google campaign, well, you're going to fail. But if you value conversation, feedback, and truly building relationships with your customers and potential customers- and you do social media the right way, well, you 're much more likely to succeed.
McCarthy cites Facebook and Second Life as examples of social media that may not be for everyone. The past year has shown that to be true about Second Life- the jury is still out about Facebook. I, for one, would argue that given the right plan, ideas, and expectations, there is not a company, brand, non-profit or organization out there that wouldn't benefit from a targeted, organized presence on Facebook.
Prove me wrong.