Social media hurdles that still need jumping

A report from eMarketer summarizes how monitoring tools help companies track and follow up on what consumers are saying on social media channels, with this insightful perspective:

[…] According to Satmetrix, a customer service software provider, only 49% of companies it surveyed worldwide in January 2012 tracked and followed up on customer feedback on social media, while 28% did neither.

A growing number of products and services are available for marketers, and these evolving tools help companies monitor more keywords and issues, more accurately track sentiment, spot negative situations earlier in the process and determine who is behind the buzz.

In essence, that data shows that less than half (49%) of companies listen to what people say about their brands in online social channels and follow up on those comments. Over a quarter (28%) of those companies do nothing at all.

The phrase “You can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink” comes to mind. It suggests that many companies haven’t even taken the first step in calculating risk to determine the value of social media as a legitimate business tool.

Evidence that there are more hurdles that still need jumping.

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Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. NevilleHobson.eu

    […] Social media hurdles that still need jumping A report from eMarketer summarizes how monitoring tools help companies track and follow up on what consumers are saying on social media channels, with this insightful perspective: According to Satmet… […]

  2. Tac Anderson

    The problem I have with these reports that are coming out (SocialBakers had similar findings at LeWeb London) is what do they mean by customer feedback? Some of the reports I’ve seen use every brand mention as a metric for customer feedback and working on the agency side with large brands, I can tell you most of the mentions some brands receive don’t actually need follow up. Should Yahoo! reply to every mention of their name today (following the announcement of their new CEO)? I would say that no, they don’t need to since most mentions are just RT’s of news stories.

    I’m not saying that companies can’t do better but to make their point (because they obviously have a vested interest) marketing sponsored research goes on the assumption that companies should reply to everything and I don’t think they should.

    • Neville Hobson

      I hear you, Tac, and much of such reporting doesn’t define that too well. What this report says to me, though, isn’t really about responding to every comment, etc, but listening and making a determination on your next step, eg, responding. The critical conclusions match a great deal of the anecdotal and other indicators I see all the time – far too many companies do too little, and some nothing at all.
      In many cases, the reason is as simple as they don’t really understand the role of social media and how it fits with other forms of communication and engagement. Huge education requirement is clearly evident.

  3. Tac Anderson

    Along the same lines, here’s a new report just out from BrandWatch
    http://www.corpcommsmagazine.co.uk/news/2615-brands-not-listening-to-social-complaints

    “The findings from Brandwatch’s annual Customer Service Index 2012, countered the argument that the main reason people complain online is to embarrass brands publicly, with only 17 per cent of consumers stating this as their number one reason for complaining.

    Instead. half of British consumers said they complain because they want companies to learn from mistakes.

    ‘Some people just love to complain – you can’t get away from that fact,’ commented Giles Palmer, founder and chief executive of Brandwatch. ‘But what our results also show is that consumers are sharing information via social media because they genuinely want brands to be better at what they do. The problem comes when brands think they know best.'”

    (BrandWatch is a client of the agency I work at)

    • Neville Hobson

      Thanks, that looks worth reading.

      Similar conclusion, though, don’t you think? Some brands (ie, the people behind them) doing little. Not being part of the conversation, as it were. Not listening. Or, at best, not doing anything in spite of consumer input.

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