I’ll start this post with complete honesty: I do not have an answer to this question. Indeed, I hope to elicit some good discussion in the comments because this question has been on my mind for some months now.
The background to the question is simple. We all know that the social media landscape is changing faster than most can keep up with. For the most part, early-adopting consumers tend to be the first to jump cannon-ball style into any new technological pool. Once the waters are proven safe and comfortable, other consumers join in, all eventually followed by large, lumbering brands that want to join the party. We’ve seen this with Facebook, Twitter, mobile applications, etc.
The sheer size and labyrinthine organizational structure of most large brands has pretty much prevented them from being the first to splash into any new pool. Lately, however, I have noticed a distinct increase in the speed with which many brands are jumping on various new media bandwagons.