My sincere thank-you to DrivingSales and Paul Moran for his response, “Does Social Media Sell? A Harvard Professor Says No,” to my HBR.org article, “Is Social Media Actually Helping Your Company’s Bottom Line?” Paul says I am taking “a shallow perspective” on this topic. I disagree, and here’s why:
First, Paul does not take issue with the facts in my article: that most companies don’t have ROI measures for their social media investments; that few companies, according to the McKinsey research, even have accountable managers in place for that spending; that much online discourse about products and companies is fake, bought, or otherwise engineered, not “engagement” with potential customers; and that the comScore data about the unviewability of many display ads is bad news. Well, Mrs. Lincoln, except for those details, it’s a great play!
In fact, Paul agrees that many companies “are digging themselves into a large social media hole that will be very hard to climb out of.” His agreement supports a basic point in my article: “people tend to overhype new technologies and misallocate resources, especially marketers.” Don’t shoot the messenger who points out what the emperor is not wearing.