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BizReport : Social Marketing : September 12, 2011

Gallup takes aim at social media myths

Social media isn't great at driving acquisition, but it is good at providing existing engaged customers with the sort of insider information and recommendations that can lead to increased sales via off- and online word of mouth, according to the findings of a recent Gallup survey.

by Helen Leggatt

The Gallup survey of more than 17,000 social media users served to dash a few myths surrounding social media, one of which being that social media marketing drives acquisition and loyalty.

The survey concludes that social media marketing shouldn't focus on acquisition because social media initiatives don't motivate prospects to try a brand or recommend it on to others. Instead social media marketing should focus on persuading existing engaged Fans and Followers to become vocal advocates.

According to an article co-written by Gallup's Jim Asplund (Chief Scientist) and Blaise James (Senior Practice Expert), "Brand-sponsored social media initiatives don't have much influence on a customer's deep rational and emotional attachment, which we call customer engagement. Gallup analysis shows that it works the other way around: Customer engagement with a brand drives social engagement, the degree to which customers will work for or against your company or brand within their social networks."

The article, which first appeared in the company's Management Journal, also tackles the myths that social media is an online-only phenomenon and all social networkers are the same.

Tags: consumer engagement, consumer insight, customer acquisition, social marketing, social media

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