While there is a lot of talk surrounding how consumers are using social media and how companies are using social media to create sales, the fact is, according to a new “Social Media Benchmark Study” released by JD. Power and Associates, its a mixed bag. In looking at how well different industries are using social media sites for marketing and servicing needs, the findings suggest that not all are adept at doing both. Among the results the study finds that of the 23,200 US consumers surveyed who have interacted with a company via a social media channel, 67% had done so for servicing versus 33% for marketing.
It should be noted that the report defines marketing engagements as including “connecting with consumers to build brand awareness and affinity, in addition to promoting coupons and deals”, while servicing engagements include “answering specific consumers questions or resolving problems.”
The study finds some significant demo discrepancies in the two forms of engagement. For example, 18-29 year old respondents were less likely than the 30-59 and 50+ groups to have interacted with a company in h marketing context (23%, 39% and 38% respectively). However, the younger demo was more likely to have engaged with brands from a servicing standpoint (43%, 39% and 18% respectively).
The rising use of social media as a customer service channel has been well documented. However, some brands are not necessarily responding very well. For example, according to Socialbakers, in Q4, 2012, brands left 45% of questions posted to their Facebook pages unanswered. On Twitter, the results were worse. Brands responded to only 32% of the questions posted to their profiles.
The question is: why use social media if you don’t use it as both a service and marketing platform? It is absolutely important to maintain a constant surveillance on brands social media platforms. Why? According to J.D. Powers, 87% said that the social marketing interaction they had with the company “positively impacted” their likelihood to make a purchase from that company.
It’s time to understand social networking means attention to what is being said. Think of it as a personal conversation. If someone is standing next to you and asking you a question, do you just ignore the question and the person who is talking to you or do you respond in kind?
Business integrity matters.