Keeping An Ear To The Social Chatter

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58% of American marketers believe their social listening and engagement efforts help influence customer perceptions.
56% believe it has built long-term relationships with customers & partners.
42% say it helps them respond promptly to customer feedback.
42% also say it’s helped them build marketing campaigns based on customer preferences.
37% say it’s helped them resolve negative buzz.
16% believe it’s helped decrease marketing costs.

THOUGHT: Last week I discussed how most complaints about brands on Twitter go unaddressed.

Now we’ve got some evidence of the benefits of listening from those who are doing so to reinforce the point that at the very least, you need to be listening to what people are saying about you. 

Your brand is what people say it is. 

That’s always been true but now you’ve got the tools to easily find out exactly what they’re saying.

But as the numbers above indicate, there are benefits to be had by going beyond listening and actually responding to that feedback. 

The two most interesting points above, however, are that more than 40% say their efforts have helped them understand customer preferences enough to build marketing campaigns from them and that only 16% say their efforts have helped reduce marketing costs. 

I think as social communication takes hold in businesses, more people are going to recognize it’s utility beyond the marketing benefits. I think most businesses will come to embrace it as a tool that helps them collaborate with their customers in order to better serve them. 

We already see it happening with Tunheim client Punch Pizza, who routinely use their Facebook page to solicit feedback from customers, the most recent example being asking customers whether they think a new restaurant in a particular location would do well

Finally, the point about costs. 

It’s a common fallacy that social media is free, often instigated by the very social media marketers who want people to pay them for their services.  Just because creating a Facebook page or opening a Twitter account costs you nothing doesn’t mean using it effectively is not going to require resources, time, and expertise and an understanding of how to measure success. 

KEYWORD WEDNESDAY: President Obama’s plan to ease the burden of post-college debt caused the search  phrase “student loan forgiveness” to rise to the fifth most popular search at Google today, as people took to the web to find out whether they’d be eligible for the program. 


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