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Social media - it's about listening as well as selling
Every other report nowadays appears to be about whether or not current social media offerings are a fad or the future of the Internet. Some reports claim that once they drop out of favor with the younger generations they will be replaced by another cool way to connect. Others believe that social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are valuable consumer communication tools that are here to stay.
Whichever you believe, there's probably a report out there somewhere to support it. Here's some more data to add to your mix. The Center for Client Retention recently released findings of a study showing consumers react positively when companies responded to comments left on social media websites.
According to the study of 27,000 consumers 55% gave positive marks when companies responded to their posts on social media sites. In addition, 40% were neutral on company responses and 5% gave negative reactions.
Surely, these figures shouldn't surprise anyone? That's what most consumers want out of social media - a dialog or some sort of reaction to an opinion or feedback they have taken the time to express.
Yes, social media is a great way to broadcast promotions and product information, and indeed your "friends" and "followers" expect to get this via social media. However, it's not all about selling, a lot of it is about listening, and many companies aren't monitoring and reacting to their social media channels.
"It's critical for companies to be aware of the fine line between using social media to connect with customers versus being in a constant selling mode," said Richard Shapiro, CEO, The Center for Client Retention.
Other social media usage stats gleaned from the report include:-
- 60% of consumers engage in social media sites (62% women, 57% men).
- While the overall social media usage averaged 60%, the percentages by age closely mirrored the general population with 35 year olds and younger using it 80% of the time or more and 36 to 50 year olds using it an average of 60% of the time. Of those consumers in their 70's and 80's, 21% are visiting social media sites.
- Slightly more than 85% consumers utilize Facebook, where all the participating companies have a presence, 38% on YouTube, 19% on MySpace, and almost 13% on Twitter.
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- Expert: How subscriptions are driving retail
- Report: US small businesses pushing international
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