A post by Dion Hinchcliffe on “social business maturity” made me laugh and cry at the same time. It’s one of those misleading semi-analytical semi-research posts that will be joyfully accepted by most people as solid truth.
However, it ain’t. If it’s anything solid, it’s solid suggestimation. Why?
The post smacks the reader in the face with impressive percentages that most, if not all, are in the 50’s, 70’s or even 80’s, seemingly showing that vast majorities of companies are “socially mature”.
I’m not even going to dig around in the studies / research cited in every statement (truly chapeau for Dion for not only citing them, but also providing a link by the way – even if I got a 404 on 1 out of 9), I’m just going to show how the attempt to state
Social media is now being used in en masse for marketing, sales, operations, customer care, supply chain, and amongst our workforces
is doomed to fail as the post combines two opposites: on the one hand perfect percentages are presented, on the other hand those are related to vague absolute truths, such as “using social technology for marketing and related functions” and “use social media to engage with customers”. Any percentage of nothing is nothing
- What are online people? How long do you have to be online, before being considered one? Per day, week, year? As a portion of your spare time, working hours, total time? Is that measured in time you spent in reading, writing, both?
- What does engage mean? Send and / or receive? Once in a lifetime, a year, 50 times a day? What portion of your online “actions” does this comprise?
- What is verbally abusive? Ho and nigga are common words among certain groups of people, among which they are not perceived offensive. However, if I were to call someone nigga, all hell would break loose. If it’s not meant offensive by me, but perceived as such, does that count? What about vice versa?
- Two-thirds of businesses are now using social technology for marketing and related functions
- 79% of companies use, or are imminently planning to use, social media
- 27% of companies now have someone dedicated to social media in their company. Those that have dedicated departments, 83% are staffed with 3 or fewer people