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Is Social Media Supporting Your Business?


I came across an interesting article recently that discussed how, despite a great deal of publicity, the marriage of social media and support has been slow to evolve.   

Businesses have been keen to embrace social media as a marketing/brand awareness and engagement tool, but not necessarily as a support tool for their brand. 

Read on to find out what a recent survey uncovered.

“According to statistics from SupportIndustry.com’s 2012 Service & Support Metrics Survey, only 22.2% of survey participants use social media as a support channel, up slightly from 18.7% in the previous year’s survey. The numbers are even smaller for specific channels, with 12% using Facebook, 15.3% using Twitter, and 19.7% employing a dedicated online community for support purposes. In terms of usage, 20% of sites use social media for 10% or less of their transactions, with less than 2% having a higher volume of usage.

 Given these results, does the fact that relatively few people submit cases on Facebook or Twitter mean that social media is not important to the support function of businesses? Hardly.  Even the most humble of companies often have Facebook fan pages or Twitter handles nowadays, with over 70% and 40% of businesses respectively now using such channels.

 In addition, many firms – particularly larger ones – have their own branded support communities where people post issues, answers, and opinions. Use of such media are growing by leaps and bounds among businesses in general.

 There is also a clear underlying social trend behind this growth: your support is no longer done in secret, and probably never will be again. Customers are just a mouse click away from posting their opinions of your products, services, and company online, and when people search for you on the Internet, there they are. Moreover, your response – or your stony silence – will be there for all to see as well.

 At the same time, businesses need to take stock of their relative importance in the social media world. According to tracking site AllFacebook.com, very few business sites crack even the top 100 rankings of fan pages. Compared with leaders such as Lady Gaga, Texas Hold’em Poker, and Facebook itself, each with between 45 and 56 million fans, business sites for even top consumer products like BMW (7 million fans), Nike (5.5 million), and the NFL (4 million) pale in comparison. Nonetheless, connecting with your customers online appears to be here to stay.”

 The moral of this story is that if you are connecting and engaging your customers in the social media realm, optimise the space with tracking, listening and responding as part of your overall communications, PR and customer support functions, and allocate the necessary resources to these functions accordingly.

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