Companies may hire social teams or even chief social officers, and what keeps consumers coming back is the knowledge that there are real people -- people who mean something to the business, not just people assigned a role in the business' social effort -- on the network at given points in time. These can be "Chat to the CEO" sessions, "Ask R&D," brand sponsored "tweetups," and the like. Ninety-nine percent of the businesses that made their employees, from interns to management, accessible and (dare I say it?) vulnerable scored well in this three year study.
There are a lot of reasons for businesses' social efforts to fail and far fewer reasons for social successes. In the end, a good mix of social savvy and business sense generated the best performing social marketing efforts from 2009-2012.
Joseph Carrabis is the founder of and chief research officer for NextStage Evolution.
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"Muhammad Ali" image via Flickr.
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