Firms ‘failing’ with social media

Businesses must leverage 'collective behaviour' to reap the benefits of social media, Gartner says.

Social network

Many businesses have failed with social media efforts as they have been unable to harness the power of collective behaviour, an analyst firm has claimed.

Having analysed 200 successful social media projects over a 10-month period, Gartner suggested firms should pinpoint different ways to leverage "mass collaboration."

"Social media is not an end in and of itself - it is an enabler," said Anthony Bradley, group vice president at Gartner.

"Social media technologies are tools and, like any technology, it is how people use those tools that delivers enterprise results."

One area Gartner said businesses should look at leveraging was collective intelligence, whereby workers not only enjoy enhanced collaboration but get the chance to improve customer service.

Furthermore, creating group interest and then facilitating it over social networks would help boost customer loyalty and engagement, the organisation said.

The analyst firm also recommended initiating a fast and short mass messaging campaign, although warned the strategy did come with risks.

Once a social media begins to gain traction, businesses will come across emerging areas where they can expand and succeed further, Gartner said.

"Enterprises that understand the importance of harnessing the power of collective behaviors to drive positive business change will be the ultimate winners with social media," Bradley added.

"Those that focus on implementing social media technologies will be the losers."

A recent report from fellow analyst firm Ovum discovered banks had not been taking full advantage of social networks, potentially missing out on the chance to improve customer relations.

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