When General Motors announced that it would slash jobs and sell assets today, many social media consultants thought the article was a joke.
“I mean, GM has the popular FastLane blog. They get it. They use twitter. They are out connecting with consumers. How could they be losing money?” said Chris Brogan, a social media pundit, before declaring, “Maybe they need a Facebook app.”
Over at Bubblegeneration, Umair Haque opined that the problem was that GM did not embrace the edge. “Consumers should be designing their vehicles. They need the wisdom of crowds. These so called car design experts don’t really know anything. It’s all about being open, like Apple.” When asked for an example of how Apple was “open”, Haque hung up on us.
A handful of accounting bloggers pointed out that GM had high pension costs and other financial problems which prevented them from pricing their cars competitively, to which several social media consultants responded “what does that have to do with running a business?”
Even Robert Scoble chimed in, saying that perhaps a video podcast would improve GM’s future earnings.
When pressed for examples of social media tactics that GM could adopt to improve the bottom line, every social media consultant gave us the same 4 examples that have been repeated ad nauseum in the blogosphere. When asked if there were any other examples, ones we had not heard before, Chris Brogan responded that social media isn’t about results, it’s about “being part of the conversation.”