Are tech firms falling behind in Social Media?

One would expect that technology firms would be the most comfortable with adoption of Social Media techniques to boost awareness, customer relationships and  Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Findings from an international survey of senior technology executives which we conducted with our international partner Eurocom Worldwide might suggest otherwise.

About a third are involved in corporate blogging, no change from two years ago. Such is the value of corporate blogging from a search perspective alone that this is a little surprising. On the other hand blogging does require a significant time commitment so companies are better not to do it at all than do it badly or infrequently.

I advise clients that before they jump into the deep end with their own corporate blog they should paddle about in the safer end contributing comments to other blogs and LinkedIn discussions. 

While 33% may be right that corporate blogging is too time consuming, a surprising 29% don’t see the value of it.  Online is the new business networking. Just think of the time it takes to go to a lunch or attend a conference. Online social networking takes a lesser chunk out of your working day although admittedly you need to do it more frequently (mea culpa!).

Tech firms are more enthusiastic about other Social Media and half (51%) of firms surveyed have a Facebook page, 46% have a corporate Twitter account, 43% are on LinkedIn and just over a third (36%) of companies have a YouTube presence.

A cynic might suggest that while they have these are they updating and using them? Or, like the latest fashion, is it a case of a something that is nice to have or which they feel they should have and has then been parked? In fact the survey finds that just over a quarter (26%) of respondents’ companies Tweet daily and just over one in five (21%) update their Facebook page each day.

Technology respondents do find that PR followed by Internet Marketing represent the most cost effective part of their marketing spend. Certainly we have concrete examples of how Online PR, too often ignored in the digital marketing tool box, can have dramatic impact on SEO.

So to answer the question at the beginning: Are tech firms falling behind in Social Media?  Many are rightly taking cautious steps. Social Media is not a silver bullet. It should be part of an integrated marcomms plan.

The point is that over 90% of B2B potential buyers, customers are out there actually searching for you on the web. You need to do whatever it takes to be found in the most cost effective manner.

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