Much like the lottery, you have to play to win with social media. Don't take my word for it, new studies have come out showing what people expect from brands on social media sites. Social marketers constantly find themselves having to defend social media and prove its value. Well, thanks to these new data points, we have more ammunition to fight the good fight!
1. Get Social and be Active!
A study from Hubspot (they are awesome) showed that online consumers expect brands to be active on at least 3 social channels. That's right; brands are expected to be accessible, active and social. Imagine that! A majority of those polled said that they expect to at least see a branded Facebook page and Twitter account. Half of respondents expected to engage with LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube and Google+ Pages.
2. Serve Your Communities.
It's not enough to simply set up accounts and post cute pictures of kittens. People expect brands to provide value and serve their social communities! Parature released a very interesting study analyzing customer service via social media. There are a lot of great data points in the study, so let's bullet them out:
· 35% of people have sought out customer service from a brand on social media
· 52% of people said that they had gave positive feedback to a brand on social media
· 59% of people said that the brand they gave positive or negative feedback to responded to them
· 51% of people who received customer service via social media said that their perception of the brand became more positive
In a separate customer service study, Edison Research found that social users expect brand to be on social media, provide customer service and do it in a timely manner! 42% of people expect a reply in under an hour, 25% in the same day and a demanding 9% want a reply in as little as 5 minutes. If you are going to be social, you had be ready to serve your communities!
3. Don't be THAT Guy/Girl
Ever have a friend you generally like, but that person is constantly asking you for favors that you really don't want to do at that time? You don't dislike them enough to cut ties, however you get annoyed more and more every time they ask for that favor? Yea...don't let your brand be THAT guy or girl on social media. People generally spend time on social sites for entertainment or to share what's going on in their lives. Nobody goes to Facebook or Twitter hoping to buy something. Sales via social media come when you integrate the social experience into the overall consideration cycle of your target customer. Provide value and be useful so that when your target audience needs your product or service, you are there! A study by Gallup showed that 35% of people said that social media had influence on their purchasing decisions. A minority of people might say that social media doesn't influence them; however you better believe that the recommendations of their peers absolutely do! Position your brand to be helpful, entertaining or just an all-around fun brand to spend time with and the sales will come (if you track properly but that is for another blog).
What do you think of this combo of studies outlining exactly what people want and expect from brands who dare to get social? Tell us in the comment section!