96% of marketers feel social media lifts brands

Brands largely disagree with the belief that conversations in social networks alone drive meaningful business outcomes but they do feel that social media is part of an integrated marketing approach to marketing.  Engagement is not defined by conversations. Engagement is the act of a consumer and an organization or brand interacting within the consumer’s network of relevance through a combination of conversations, content, or related information. Engagement, and here’s the important part, is then measured by the take- away value, sentiment, and resulting actions following the interaction. 

In 2012 social media marketing is going to approach a major on/off ramp of the consumers touch point highway.Brands are either going to buy-in into the fact that social media is part of an integrated consumer-brand touchpoint or they are going to continue to demand hard proof that social media provides an ROI.

Now I have been a strong advocate for drawing a straight line from social media marketing to ROI but I also understand that social media can be taken alone as a key ROI driver.  Social media is just one part of a digital strategy which in turn should be integrated with a companies total marketing strategy.

The most important aspect of developing any digital strategy is an understanding of your target audiences needs when it comes to information around the product and where that “moment of truth” (the purchase decision) is made.   That is where marketers need to allocate their marketing efforts.

Recently Heineken announced that it was going to pay Facebook a lot of money to be one of the first brands to have access to new features on Facebook.  One has to wonder just how important social media is in the purchase of beer and Heineken has certainly been doing a lot via social media but I really don’t believe that anyone is going to make a purchase decision for beer based on what a brand does on social media.

50% of consumers expect companies to read their Tweet

According to a study from Evolve 24 on Twitter:

Nearly half of respondents expected the company to read their Tweet
• Nearly 1/3 of respondents received a response from the company about their

Twitter complaint

• Of those who received follow-up:
– 83% said they liked or loved hearing from the company
– Only 4% didn’t like or hated hearing from the company
– Nearly three in four were very or somewhat satisfied with the company’s response

• Of those who did not receive follow-up:

  • –  86% would have liked or loved hearing from the company regarding their complainttweet

–  Only 1% would have not liked it or hated it if they were contacted by the company regarding their complaint tweet

63% would not like it or hate it if the company contacted them about something other than their complaint tweet .

What we are seeing here is that consumers are coming to realize that Twitter can be used to ask questions or complain about a brand where as Facebook can be used to share consumer experiences around the brand.   Tech savvy consumers understand that they can ask a question of a brand using the @brand tag and they expect an answer in real time but how many brands are really willing to answer or are listening ?
Research from Maritz and Evolve24 of 1,298 Twitter complainants found that only 29% of those tweet gripes were replied to by the companies in question.   Essentially that is telling your customers you’re not listening and that you don’t care.  Today in such a competitive business environment that is unacceptable.

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