The number of users on social networks continues to grow. But users no longer use Facebook , Twitter & Co. just for chatting, looking at photos or sharing funny cat videos. This is still happening in the news feeds, but the biggest trend right now is another: social commerce. Potential customers exchange information about purchased products on social media platforms and contact companies more and more frequently via Twitter or Facebook. The future of new customer acquisition is called recommendation marketing or word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM).
For many, customer ratings and reviews are much more credible and efficient information than the company’s product presentations and promotional videos. To get the most out of referral marketing, you should not only increase consumer engagement through an effective social media strategy , but also strengthen your own brand engagement to the same extent. With the help of the study, the Social Sprout Index , we want to show you how “social” today’s customers are and which industries can look forward to a particularly high level of social media engagement.
Consumer Engagement Is Growing Faster Than The Social Networks Themselves
It is absolutely no secret that the number of users on social media platforms continues to grow and that new social networks keep popping up. However, it is astonishing that, according to Social Sprout Index, user engagement in Facebook and Twitter is growing 9 times as fast as the social networks themselves. Facebook and Twitter had 20.5% more users in Q3 2013 than a year earlier. Consumer engagement increased by 178% in the same time!
For the study by SocialSprout, 160 million messages, posts and tweets from around 20,000 different companies were analyzed on Twitter and Facebook. On average, the companies received 39 messages per 1,000 fans on Facebook every month, and even 60 messages per 1,000 followers on Twitter. Consumers want social exchange with companies and keep asking questions. Can the companies even keep up and is the company’s commitment enough for good recommendation marketing ?
Social Media Engagement Of Companies: Strong Differences Depending On The Industry
The answer to the question of whether the companies can keep up and the company’s commitment to good recommendation marketing is sufficient varies depending on the industry. The graphic “Social Media Engagement: Companies vs. Consumers” shows an index. The higher the consumer index, the more news, comments, tweets, etc., the companies in the industry have received from consumers. The index of the social media engagement of the companies shows how often and how quickly the companies from the respective industries responded to customer inquiries on Twitter and Facebook.
Energy service providers, for example, have a significantly higher level of brand engagement compared to consumer engagement. The same applies to automobile manufacturers and retailers. And that’s how it should be. If your company does not respond to inquiries from potential or existing customers, then it is your own fault if you do not generate any sales with these users. You have to work hard for positive word of mouth marketing. The real estate industry, for example, has a high level of social media engagement among consumers, but the companies themselves do not respond enough to user messages.
A low consumer engagement can also be the result of a low social media engagement of the company. This can be seen, for example, in the government sectors and for non-profit organizations. The rapidly growing consumer engagement is only half the battle. And if you don’t go into it, then it’s wasted potential.
Response Time Of Companies To Social Media Engagement Of Consumers
We want to take a closer look at the very important reaction behavior of companies with regard to messages and comments from consumers on Facebook and Twitter. When a consumer finds out about a product these days, it can be done quickly. As soon as you receive a corresponding request from potential customers, you should respond immediately or at the latest the next morning. Everything else is too slow because the user has long since obtained the necessary information or answers to his questions from elsewhere. Even if you do not manage to answer in time, the user is still happy about a reaction, even if it may no longer help him.
The graphic below “Response Time and Response Rate of Companies” shows on the one hand the reaction time by industry on Facebook and Twitter together, and on the other hand the proportion of inquiries from consumers in all customer inquiries that were answered. Unfortunately, in most industries, an extremely large number of messages go unanswered. And when they have been answered, it is very slowly. It is hardly possible to offer consumers any added value through interaction on social media platforms. The study also shows that response times on Twitter are only half as long as on Facebook.
Consumers are willing to get in touch with companies on social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook. The potential of social commerce is shown by the rapidly growing social media engagement of consumers. However, in many industries there is still a lack of commitment on the part of companies to respond to potential customers. SocialSprout’s study proves that it is of the utmost importance for your company to react quickly to user messages, comments and tweets. If you want to use the potential that lies in social commerce effectively, you have to ensure fast response times and increase your own commitment in the form of social media strategies and posting plans.