Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Social Media Eludes Executives

New research by IBM indicates business executives hold some false beliefs about social media:
  • According to the study, 70 percent of executives think their organizations will be “out of touch” if they don’t engage customers through social media. But 55 percent of customers say they don’t engage with brands at all through social media.
  • Of the 45 percent of customers who engage with brands, 66 percent say they must feel the organization is communicating honestly before they’ll interact. But 33 percent of executives feel lukewarm about transparency.
  • Executives think “getting discounts” and “purchasing products” are the two least likely reasons customers engage with brands through social media. But customers say these are the two most likely reasons.
  • Executives are three times more likely than customers to think customers want to be part of an online “community.” Customers want to interact when it’s to their direct benefit.
The researchers urge executives to think like customers. “Recast social interaction strategies to focus on giving customers the value they seek and the customer intimacy will come,” they suggest. 
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