Finally! Here’s some good news about how companies are using social media to engage with consumers online.
Despite several previous studies showing that consumers increasingly expect the companies they do business with to respond to them via online channels, most companies have been slow to implement effective social media initiatives.
This new research, however, identifies encouraging signs of improved customer attentiveness across today’s most popular social media networks.
Referring to this increased attentiveness on Facebook, Twitter, et al. as being “socially devoted,” the social media marketing company Socialbakers said the results of its recent survey revealed significant improvement by many kinds of businesses when it comes to providing online real-time customer service.
Just how much social devotion are companies dishing out?
According to the study, nearly half of all customer inquiries are now handled via social media, 20 percent more than what Socialbakers found when it conducted the survey just a few months earlier.
In terms of percent of increase, companies involved in the production of fast-moving goods (products consumed and/or replaced within a year’s time) and alcohol-related businesses led the way in socially devoted improvements, increasing their customer response rates by 123 (!) percent and 493 (!!) percent, respectively. Meanwhile, the automotive industry showed a net increase in responsiveness of 53 percent, followed by financial institutions at 42 percent.
Airlines led all industries with the highest level of social devotion overall.
Interestingly, the only two industries that did not show double-digit improvement between June and September were telecommunications companies and retail. I’ll cut telecommunications firms somewhat of a break, considering many in this sector were already established frontrunners in social media customer service. But, I have to say, it’s baffling to see retailers lagging in the middle of the pack. Millions of people use social media to shop. Why aren’t more retailers focused on using social networks to engage their customers and prospects?
As Socialbakers CEO Jan Rezab sees it, early adopters are beginning to reap the benefits of creating an omnichannel experience for their customers.
“Companies across diverse industry sectors are realizing the value of a Socially Devoted strategy,” she concluded. “The early adopters of this model have demonstrated how social media outreach can improve customer perceptions and deliver ROI, and this may have inspired more businesses to adopt the Socially Devoted model.”