Although large numbers of customers may be impressive, a recent study by the research company ExactTarget found that more than 75% of social media marketers think that the quality of customers engaged readily trumped quantity when it came to social marketing efforts.
Increasing traffic to their website still ranked high among stated goals (55% believed this to be the case), but driving brand awareness easily outdistanced it by a significant margin (77%). At the same time, customer engagement, which delivers customer insight and improved customer retention, was hot on its heels (44%) and easily out-distanced lead generation, sales, and service and support as marketing objectives.
Reaffirming these results is a survey conducted in November of 2013 by Ascend2, which cited brand awareness and customer engagement as primary long-range social marketing objectives – an indication that these will remain the top performance measures for years yet to come.
When it came to effective marketing approaches, the prevailing opinion was that while adding a Facebook button to a website was a quick and easy process, it was not a panacea; careful planning and effort were needed. Results pointed directly towards providing quality content as a better means of improving performance. Some of the marketing approaches that generated significantly positive results with customers included:
- Publicly answering customer service questions – 69%
- Regular posts to entertain or inform (organic growth) – 67%
- Working with influencers/bloggers to promote Facebook page – 56%
- Regular posting of FAQs or How-Tos on a Facebook content – 50%
According to the survey, “Allowing consumers to interact with brands to form one-on-one relationships makes them feel like they’re not just another number. And continuing to develop those bonds ensures quality fans stick around… and helps marketers accomplish their social goals.”
eMarketer. “Marketers Find Success on Social Through Customer Engagement,” http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Marketers-Find-Success-on-Social-Through-Customer-Engagement/1010422. December 2, 2013.