Internal Roadblocks Hamper Social Web Success

The rapid emergence of the social web has left many businesses — retailers included — unsure of how to best use these new communication resources to build sales, profits and loyalty.

One key element of part 8 of Untangling the Social Web, the latest study from the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America, was an examination of the internal front lines of the social web. Drawing insights from a wide range of companies, the Council garnered a clear picture of some of the challenges.

Many internal social web managers say the potential benefits of the technology are being limited by internal silos that hamper communication and restrict the resources for this new area. In many if not all companies, additional people, disciplines and infrastructure are necessary.

But money isn’t the only problem. Social web leaders say companies must learn the culture of the social web to enable the kind of broad communication and partnership that shoppers seek. In many ways, shoppers’ disappointment in social web offerings from the retail food industry reflects these internal issues.

Both shoppers and internal experts agree that engagement on the social web will remain limited until companies understand how to more broadly communicate through these new channels.

More insights into customer and internal concerns about the social web can be found inside part 8 of the report, now available at no charge at In addition, parts 6 and 7 can be used to help create guidelines for internal and external communication on the social web.

Also, hear my FMI Webinar “Key Steps to Business Social Media Success” at

Michael Sansolo
Research Director
Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America

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