Are Companies Being Anti-Social with Twitter and Facebook?

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The problem with most corporate social media strategies, according to one expert, is that they’re just not social enough, they’re actually anti-social, and that that will lead to “social blindness” and a downturn in overall brand loyalty if left unchecked.

Brian Solis, a new media analyst from Altimeter, believes that corporate social media efforts are “so anti-social that saying [the words] social [and] media together is like saying military intelligence,” and “are actually about to force people to start unfollowing and unliking [companies] en masse.”

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The problem, he believes, is that most social marketing relies upon the old-media idea of one-way communication, which only distances the companies from their target audiences. His case was strengthened by Scott Galloway, a marketing professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, who cited an NYU study that demonstrated “a stronger correlation than we anticipated between digital IQ and revenue growth.” Which is to say, the smarter companies are online, the more likely we are to buy from them.

The problem, according to Galloway, is that it’s difficult to make that case to companies, as there are only “hints of ROI” on social media at this time. Maybe we’ll have to wait until bad online word of mouth translates into falling sales for companies to step up their social schemes. Anyone got any bad stories to share to jumpstart the process?

MORE: Why Do We Care So Deeply About Brands like Twitter and Apple?

Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.