Cross-posted from snoo.ws.
A study released last week by Big Mouth Media, a digital marketing agency, identified who among the top businessmen in the UK is using social media the most. The study surveyed 50 CEOs from the FTSE100 as well as representatives from the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 (a list of fast growing businesses compiled by Virgin once a year). Big Mouth Media reported that John Heald, Senior Director of Carnival, was the most active on the FTSE100 list while Steve Endacott, CEO of On Holiday Group, was named top user on the Fast Track list.
Big Mouth Media then interviewed the people involved in the survey who offered some valuable insight for all small, medium and large scale businesses. John Heald said this about large businesses that have been around for a long time and may be stuck in their ways:
“The Internet has changed the way that people want to communicate with companies, and even the FTSE100 has to come to terms with that. Customers have become accustomed to a certain level of transparency and informality in their dealings with business and even large-scale enterprises need to adjust their marketing strategies accordingly.”
Endacott, a fairly new business owner whose resume includes running MyTravel, says that all businesses need to get in touch with these new tools:
“I believe that these are tools every business has to get to grips with. There’s a generation of consumers growing up with social media, and unless you truly understand the culture there’s a real danger of losing touch with them.”
In a world where many companies are still unsure of the value of the new mediums this advice from successful business owners who are working with new technology becomes very valuable. Chris Lake of Econsultancy, a source of independent advice and insight on digital marketing and ecommerce said:
“What’s needed is a shift in mindset. Firms should embrace customer feedback and act on it. By engaging with customers you increase satisfaction, which is a proven way of generating repeat business and referrals. Why wouldn’t you want to do that? Social media really is win-win, but I’d stop short of filing it under ‘marketing’. It’s about customer service, as much as anything.”
A quick breakdown of the report shows that the biggest companies, the old guard if you will, are still relatively new to social media and have not yet totally embraced it. If you look at the findings, newer Fast Track company CEOs are almost all using some form of social media to develop a dialogue with their customers while the FTSE100 list shows very little use. What this means for companies on the rise or that want to grow is that social media is a must. The benefits are just too great and the downside is just as big of not using the tools that younger generations have grown up with.