According to this report, senior marketers say that social networks and applications were their biggest priority for their 2010 marketing plans, followed closely by digital infrastructure. The others priorities included search optimization, mobile, blogger outreach, viral campaigns, digital advertising, email marketing and games. While these are all important, what’s interesting is that “community management and/or engagement” is not mentioned at all. Perhaps those marketers interviewed consider community management a part of “social networks” but I doubt it.
I would think by now that the majority of marketers are beginning to understand the dynamics of social media. With all the published case studies, surveys and data available, one would think that marketers would invest more in creating a framework that facilitates conversations between a real-person-of-a-brand and a consumer. In my mind, this is the true nature of social media.
A study back in 2008 showed that 55% of consumers want ongoing conversations with companies and brands. The study investigated how brands and consumers interact and how consumers want brands to engage with them. And the results were awesome. In addition to the 55% wanting an ongoing interaction, 89% of respondents said they would feel more loyal to a brand if they were invited to take part in a feedback group.
A more recent study in 2009 (you can download here) found that 85% of Americans using social media think companies should have an active presence in the social media universe. What’s even more interesting is that those users actually want interaction with these brands. Here are some other data points you mind find useful:
Out of the 85% of people who want companies to be present in social media:
- 34% want companies to actively interact with them
- 51% want companies to interact with them as needed or by request
- 8% think companies should only be passively involved on social media
- 7% think companies should not be involved at all
This survey alone tells me that marketers should pay a little more attention to their customers and less on spitting out traditional one way messages.