Consumers Expect More Social Engagement

By this point pretty much every big brand marketing organization has a presence on social media, but that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily “doing” social media right. In that vein, a new survey of consumer attitudes and marketer practices conducted by Lithium Technologies in April reveals that big brands are often falling short of consumer expectations when it comes to social media engagement.

Thus while one quarter of respondents in the Lithium survey said they expect to hear back from a company when they tweet about its brand or product, only 9% said they have actually received a response -- meaning about two-thirds are left disappointed. Indeed, depending on how stringent your view of best practices is, the real shortfall could be as much as 91%, if you believe brands should respond to every substantive comment -- even from people who don’t expect to receive a response.

Likewise, 35% of consumers said they expect to hear something from a brand or company after “liking” them on Facebook, but 58% said they never hear anything at all -- which is, even by the superficial standards of Facebook, in my opinion frankly kind of rude.

On the other side of the equation, marketers themselves admit they’re falling short of internal goals for social media. Here, 74% of marketers said that creating a community around their brand is one of the main business objectives of their social media strategies -- but just 18% of marketers said they have succeeded in doing so.

Meanwhile the question of ROI remains, seemingly as always, unresolved: according to the Lithium survey, 42% of marketers said they are very aware of the need to demonstrate social media ROI to top execs at their companies  -- but only 4% rated their ability to measure the impact of social media as “excellent.” Similarly, just 4.6% think they are able to measure customer satisfaction “extremely well.”

1 comment about "Consumers Expect More Social Engagement".
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  1. Grant Crowell from, May 8, 2012 at 6:33 p.m.

    The problem with most big brands doing social media is they still treat it as almost exclusively an advertising platform built around reach and brand awareness, while ignoring customer service. They treat "engagement" as something that consumers do with each other, rather than something brands are expected to stick around and help them out with beyond seeding content. If you want to start a community, you need to do customer service.

    If I may be allowed a plug, I've covered this issue recently in the online video ecosystem in my articles, "How to Be a Customer Service Champion with Social Video" at , and "Social Video ROI: Why it Matters for Marketing"

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