Social media experiment starts with a fizzle

My social media experiment is off and walking. Not for any lack of trying on my part. Just a lack of social on the part of the companies I'm trying to interact with. (Read more about the experiment here.)

What happened in round 1?

I kicked things off by posting a question on the Facebook fan page of 5 of the 11 participants. I'll get to the other 6 later, but I want to keep it natural and I only had a legitimate reason to contact 5 of these companies so far.

One day later, I've received a response from only one company. A fellow 'fan' answered the question I posted to another company's page, so I suppose that's fair too. The other three companies are radio silent so far.

Demographics

My colleague, Grace Judson, offered a theory on how this will play out:

I suspect the level of engagement will depend heavily on the size of the company - which isn't something you've listed in the demographics. My guess is that the smaller the company, the more interactive they'll be.

I think Grace's theory is a good one, but the one company that's responded to me so far had over a million Facebook fans. Here's a snapshot of the fans and followers for my test subjects:

More predictions...

Angela Hill is one of my social media gurus. She offered an interesting perspective on what will determine whether a company succeeds or not in this arena:

The gaping chasm between followers and true engagement will grow deeper as we move towards a fully integrated online branding experience. Companies who do not quickly evolve and adapt will struggle with measuring and controlling the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. Whereas companies who do embrace this new Marketing 3.0 methodology will develop stronger, more transparent, interactive relationships with their client base, which will in turn generate revenue, allow for predictable metrics and build brand loyalty.

Yeah - Angela can get a little deep, but I think her theory is essentially that companies interested in engagement (the 'social' aspect) will do well while companies following a more 'media' strategy may get left behind. You can hear more of what Angela has to say about branding and social media by following her on Twitter: @incitrio.

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