While consumers and marketers both say that interacting through social media has strong benefits, there is still more engagement and interaction required by both groups, according to Lithium Technologies, which sells customer experience solutions.
“There is no excuse anymore, when you consider the simplicity and sophistication with which marketers can monitor social customer experiences, engage and build communities around the brand, and clearly measure business value using tools like Lithium provides.”
“Consumers are increasingly expecting, even demanding, that brands interact with them through social media,” said Katy Keim, Lithium CMO.
“It’s not enough to just show up on social channels. Smart brands are taking control of social customer engagement by figuring out how to tackle meaningful activities with their social customers—things like collecting feedback and new product ideas.”
Consumers are influenced by social media and they expect a two-way dialog with brands across the social web, but rarely get it. A survey of consumer attitudes, conducted by Lithium in April and released during the Lithium Network Conference (LiNC) 2012, about social media reveals:
- While 25% expect to hear back from a company when they tweet about a brand or product, only 9% have actually received a response
- 35% say after “liking” a brand on Facebook, they expect to hear from the company—yet 58% say that they have never received a response from company after “liking” it
Marketers need to demonstrate social media marketing ROI to the C-suite, but aren’t able to. A separate survey of marketer attitudes around social media, conducted by Lithium and MarketingProfs in April, reveals:
- 74% of marketers say creating a community around their brand is a social media business objective—but only 18% of marketers say their company has an online community
- 86% say they actively use Facebook in their marketing efforts—but only 2.8% report that when fans “like” their brand on Facebook, it results in better quality interactions
- 42% say they are very concerned about demonstrating the value of social media to executive management—but only 4% say their ability to measure the overall impact of social media is excellent
- 31% say that customer retention is quite important, but only 4.6% of marketers say they are able to measure customer satisfaction (Net Promoter Score) extremely well
While social media marketing ROI remains elusive for most, findings indicate marketers who combine two assets well are best able to realize the full potential of social media and demonstrate the most impressive ROI:
- Leading-edge technology—listening to social customers who want to be heard, building online communities to deepen social customer engagement.
- A mature, strategic approach to measurement—tying social media objectives to real business outcomes like increasing revenue and driving awareness.
“There’s a clear disconnect between the value of social media and marketers’ ability to demonstrate and act on that value—but it doesn’t have to be that way,” said Keim. “There is no excuse anymore, when you consider the simplicity and sophistication with which marketers can monitor social customer experiences, engage and build communities around the brand, and clearly measure business value using tools like Lithium provides.”
While large portions of marketers are not yet truly measuring and understanding the impact of their social media efforts, a significant vanguard (35%) do say that social media marketing helps to meet primary business objectives better than most other channels.