07/26/2011 03:33 pm ET | Updated Sep 25, 2011

Is Your Company Smart Enough for Social Media?

Probably not. Oh, there are Facebook pages and Twitter handles popping up in various departments... some sanctioned by the company, some not. These 'rogue' pages and handles could be about anything from a garage sale for a fellow employee who's been sick, to a new product about to launch.

But nobody in Legal, or HR, or Communications knows anything about them. And if they did, they wouldn't be able to explain how these rogue pages happened or how they fit in to the company's Social Business Strategy.

Because there is no Social Business Strategy. There is no definition of the brand's social ecosystem. There is no plan for cross-functional collaboration and coordination on social technologies. There is no measurement or analysis of these activities in relation to the rest of the organization's core metrics for success.

Companies need to get smart about social business -- and fast. I can't emphasize enough how important it is to become educated about what social means and how to implement it throughout the organization. And it starts with a serious commitment to corporate education.

In fact, I am on a mission to educate the top Fortune 500 companies on Social Business over the next 18 months. I'm so passionate about this that Gravity Summit is offering 1 hour free consulting time with our senior consultants to assess your company's situation.

Why are we doing this? Because I teach Social Media for the UCLA Extension and consult with top brands around the world. I see first -hand the state of the business community as it relates to social technologies. And it's not good.

Take Wal-Mart, for example. In their Wal-Mart's Rocky Path from Bricks to Clicks article for Business Week, authors Matthew Boyle and Douglas MacMillan point out that Wal-Mart is still 15 years behind eBay and Amazon in ecommerce. Lucky for Wal-Mart, they've got deep pockets. They've allocated $11 billion (with a B) to help launch @WalmartLabs, in part to understand social and mobile. "One goal of @WalmartLabs is to use social media and mobile apps to get shoppers to spend more at Wal-Mart's physical stores."

There is no return on investment in playing catch-up. I used to joke that Fortune 500 companies can spend well over $250 million dollars on building a world-class brand, only to hand their social media presence over to "an intern for the summer," and watch it destruct in a matter of weeks.

This is not a joke. Does your company have $11B to focus on social business? Not likely. Take a class, go to a seminar, come to Gravity Summit FutureM at Harvard in September, email me personally at

I am here to help your company do something to get educated NOW.

Beverly Macy is the CEO of Gravity Summit, Inc. and the Co-Author of The Power of Real-Time Social Media Marketing. She also teaches Executive Global Marketing and Branding and Social Media Marketing for the UCLA Extension. Follow her on Twitter @beverlymacy or email at