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Consumers Expect More Engagement from Brands Through Social Media, Lithium Social Survey Finds

Consumers Expect More Engagement from Brands Through Social Media, Lithium Social Survey Finds

More than a third of consumers say their opinions about brands and products are shaped by social media, creating an opportunity for marketers to improve social customer expectations and demonstrate social media ROI

Lithium Network Conference, SAN FRANCISCO - May 4, 2012 – Lithium Technologies, the leader in Social Customer Experience, today unveiled new research showing that while consumers and marketers both say that interacting through social media has strong benefits, there is still more engagement and interaction required by both groups.

“Consumers are increasingly expecting, even demanding, that brands interact with them through social media,” said Katy Keim, Lithium CMO. “It’s not enough to just show up on social channels. Smart brands are taking control of social customer engagement by figuring out how to tackle meaningful activities with their social customers—things like collecting feedback and new product ideas.”

Consumers are influenced by social media and they expect a two-way dialog with brands across the social web, but rarely get it. A survey[1] of consumer attitudes, conducted by Lithium in April and released during the Lithium Network Conference (LiNC) 2012, about social media reveals:

  • While 25% expect to hear back from a company when they tweet about a brand or product, only 9% have actually received a response
  • 35% say after “liking” a brand on Facebook, they expect to hear from the company—yet 58% say that they have never received a response from company after “liking” it

Marketers need to demonstrate social media marketing ROI to the C-suite, but aren’t able to. A separate survey[2] of marketer attitudes around social media, conducted by Lithium and MarketingProfs in April, reveals:

  • 74% of marketers say creating a community around their brand is a social media business objective—but only 18% of marketers say their company has an online community
  • 86% say they actively use Facebook in their marketing efforts—but only 2.8% report that when fans “like” their brand on Facebook, it results in better quality interactions
  • 42% say they are very concerned about demonstrating the value of social media to executive management—but only 4% say their ability to measure the overall impact of social media is excellent
  • 31% say that customer retention is quite important, but only 4.6% of marketers say they are able to measure customer satisfaction (Net Promoter Score) extremely well

While social media marketing ROI remains elusive for most, findings indicate marketers who combine two assets well are best able to realize the full potential of social media and demonstrate the most impressive ROI:

  • Leading-edge technology—listening to social customers who want to be heard, building online communities to deepen social customer engagement.
  • A mature, strategic approach to measurement—tying social media objectives to real business outcomes like increasing revenue and driving awareness.

“There’s a clear disconnect between the value of social media and marketers’ ability to demonstrate and act on that value—but it doesn’t have to be that way,” said Keim. “There is no excuse anymore, when you consider the simplicity and sophistication with which marketers can monitor social customer experiences, engage and build communities around the brand, and clearly measure business value using tools like Lithium provides.”

While large portions of marketers are not yet truly measuring and understanding the impact of their social media efforts, a significant vanguard (35%) do say that social media marketing helps to meet primary business objectives better than most other channels.

About Lithium

Lithium helps companies unlock the passion of their customers. Lithium software powers amazing Social Customer Experiences for more than 300 iconic brands including AT&T, BT, Best Buy, Sephora, Skype and Telstra. Lithium helps companies grow brand advocacy, drive sales, reduce costs and accelerate innovation to create a brand nation that redefines the customer experience. For more information, visit, or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and our own brand nation–the Lithosphere. Lithium is privately held with corporate headquarters in Emeryville, Calif. and offices in Europe and Asia.

[1] April, 2012 survey of more than 1,000 consumers by Lithium and Red Shift Research
[2] MarketingProfs 2012 State of Social Media Marketing Report


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