Social media – is it just corporate costs for fun?

In this well written post, Christophe Ginisty discusses the five main errors a corporate can make on social media. And while his text certainly is food for thought my interest doesn’t lie in the five points he’s making, my issue lies in the beginning of the text where he relates how one of his clients had had fantastic results in press coverage (and I mean press in its widest sense of the word i.e. social media too), but how this coverage had done nothing to advance the sales for the client.

Now, of course it may be that the company in question have a bad sales organisation. However, it high-lights an issue we hear more and more – press coverage doesn’t equal increased sales. And very often this coverage is from social media. But why doesn’t it reflect in higher sales? Admittedly, higher sales might not be the direct aim with the campaign. But sooner or later there has to be sales otherwise it is bankruptcy.

But as communicators, is this our problem? Should we at all bother with sales? As long as our employer is in the news in a positive way, surely we have done our job? And done it well, at that too. This might show me in a very naïve light, but to answer my own questions – Yes, we should bother. It might not be our business, but I am convinced we can’t live in splendid corporate isolation and if we don’t know nor understand the business we won’t make it to the board or C-suite where I think corporate communications belong. True, corporate communications will always remain a post on the cost side of the accounts. But better business should be every employee’s business.

2 responses to “Social media – is it just corporate costs for fun?

  1. Charlotte Chunawala

    I think you raise an important point. As a PR professional I always stress to clients that a strong PR (including social media) campaign can only contribute to the company if all the other pieces are aligned. If the marketing is poor or absent, if the sales strategy is weak, if the company itself functions poorly or if its products are sub standard then of course PapeRing over the cracks will not help. BUT if all other parts of the company are firing on all cylinders then creating an environment where the potential customer keeps coming across exciting information or positive endorsement can only boost the company business. Therefore I think your question is excellent but I don’t think the answer is clear cut.

    Gilla

    • That is the charm with PR (or rather communcations as a whole) that nothing is clear cut. But I do agree whole hearted to your statement that unless the foundation is solid no amount of PR will help. But I wonder, flattering as it is, why so many seem to think it will. It used to be a well crafted release, then a website, now social media but nothing of this will help if the foundation isn’t good. At least that is clear cut and likely won’t change in the near future…

      Gilla

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