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Taking the proactive approach

SmartPulse — our weekly reader poll in Smartbrief on Social Media — tracks feedback from leading marketers about social media practices and issues.

Last week’s poll question: What’s your company’s stance toward social-media engagement?

  • Being proactive. We understand social media is here to stay and are making necessary changes to adapt, 52%
  • Playing catch-up, without a real plan for engagement, 28%
  • Playing by the old rules of top-down-command-and-control communications, keeping the message close to the vest, 17%
  • The ostrich approach: Sticking our head in the sand in hopes the whole thing will go away, 2%

These results are somewhat surprising — I would have expected the “playing catch-up” number to have skewed higher — but they are encouraging nonetheless. eMarketer reports that “Marketers will continue to make social networks a priority for 2010,” and that “a significant portion of their spending will go toward building and maintaining a social network presence.”

It’s good to know our readership understands the vital impact social media is having on their brands and that they are making proactive course corrections to address their shortcomings.  They need to go beyond making mere tactical changes — or even strategic adjustments for that matter. Effective social media engagement requires a change in mindset that wholeheartedly embraces authenticity, transparency and an openness. In my view, that’s the real challenge in 2010.