Does your business have what it takes to survive in the perilous Social Media world?
We here at Socially Buzzing believe that the real question is not should your business be represented on Social Media, but how can your business survive long term by ignoring such a huge market?
In previous blogs here, we have laid out many reasons and benefits that accrue from a structured, consistent SM presence & we believe that our company is best positioned to offer real value in putting your business up front & more importantly, keeping it there. Below are several surveys that further emphasize additional benefits of a strong media presence.
The Social Media Surveys
It is evident businesses see the value of Social Media as part of their over all Marketing Mix. Coleman-Parkes Research discovered 84% of North American companies feel they require new methods to interact with customers, including Social Media and mobile devices.
It is also evident Social Media has become an expected activity from consumers. Companies who fail to embark on a Social Media Campaign do so at their own peril. Research undertaken by The 2008 Cone Business in Social Media Study resulted in some impressive statistics which must be noted by business owners.
The results from the survey showed 60% of American citizens used Social Media. Of those 93% indicated business should have a Social Media presence and 85% indicated businesses should interact via Social Networks with their customers. With powerful results such as these it is hard to comprehend why businesses are not implementing Social Media Marketing.
Consumers surveyed indicated businesses should use Social Media to:
- Solve Problems – 43%
- Obtain user feedback on product and services – 41%
- Enable consumers to interact with the company brand – 37%
- Market to consumers – 25%
A survey completed by Coleman-Parkes Research for Avnade an IT consultancy firm provides feedback on a number of issues from a business’s perspective.
Barriers to initiating Social Media Programs:
- Lack of understanding by Senior Management 58%
- Negative impact on employee productivity 49%
- Fear of unknown technology 58%
Companies currently using Social Media reported the following:
- Improved Feedback 78%
- Improved Customer Satisfaction 66%
- Improved Customer support 71%
- Increased Sales 40%
- Improved public perception of company 75%
Within the survey completed for Avande were some general statements which must be considered:
- 52% of respondents stated “Companies that fail to embrace social media technologies for business purposes will be left behind “
- 78% of respondents stated “As we enter a possible economic downturn we need to focus on new ways of communicating with customers which add real value.”
- 77% of respondents stated “If they did not initiate a Social Media Program Social Media would enter the company by stealth”
The results of the surveys clearly indicate that Social Media has become an accepted and expected method of interaction and communication by consumers. This fact in itself is quite powerful, when considering many forms of business promotion are considered to be intrusive by consumers. A method of business promotion which meet the expectations of consumers and is in fact wanted is a must win situation for business.
From the business perspective, as with most new methods there is resistance and Social Networking is no different. Lack of understanding of how to use Social Media and the technology required and used are predominant factors for business not initiating Social Media Programs. It is very clear from the survey that companies that do undertake a Social Media program gain benefits from their interaction with customers and prospective customer. Businesses that do not participate now or initiate in the future will have difficulties, especially in the economic environment we currently experience. These difficulties include lack of communication with customers and prospective customers and a lowering of overall competitiveness within the market place.
Businesses of today must undertake a Social Media Program to succeed in an increasingly competitive and connected business environment, not doing so is a risk to the over all success of the business and it’s stake holders.