Social media used for marketing, not customer engagementby
6th Aug 2010
Although most high tech companies have a social media presence, they are predominantly using the channel as a traditional vehicle for pushing out marketing messages rather than engaging more effectively with customers.
While tech vendors might be expected to know better, they are in effect using social networking platforms as an extension of more traditional marketing channels and so are failing to either undertake a proper two-way dialogue with customers for relationship-building purposes or to act on feedback, which could help them improve the bottom line.
These are the findings of a study undertaken by PR company Wildfire, which analysed the social media activity of the 2009 Deloitte Fast Tech 50 companies.
The report entitled ‘Putting the ‘social’ back into social media’ found that, while nine out of 10 tech suppliers had a presence on at least two social networking sites, three out of five used Facebook purely as a distribution channel and 57% employed Twitter solely for one-way marketing activity.
Debby Penton, Wildfire’s managing director, said: “Social media marketing is not some black art requiring vast experience or knowledge. After all, the vast majority of us use social networks on a regular basis to chat with friends or network with colleagues.”
It was, therefore, surprising that so many technology firms were trying to “force old marketing techniques onto the way they use social media” by simply using them to push marketing or corporate messages, she added.
To make matters worse, however, although users commented on two thirds of vendors’ Facebook pages, three quarters of them failed to reply. Some 43% of brands with a Twitter account admitted that they had never responded to a customer tweet, while only 12% of the total number of tweets examined were replies and a mere 3% were retweets.
Moreover, even though a mere quarter of blogs received any kind of comment on a regular basis, only 9% of companies bothered to respond to them anyway.
But tech vendors are also failing to integrate social media activity with their web sites. Just over a third included no links to social network addresses from their home pages, with only 18% providing links to Twitter and 2% to Facebook. A mere 22% featured a blog on either their home page or social network site, while just over half did not include links to their web sites or blogs when tweeting.
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The vast majority of organisations are excited by the emergence of social media because it means that they can spam the high [***] out of consumers over a new channel. I'm sure I'm not the only person who thinks so.