Five Questions For Social Media Success

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Customer Experience
In a recent study, Temkin Group and Peppers & Rogers Group examined the social media activities within companies.

In a recent study, Temkin Group and Peppers & Rogers Group examined the social media activities within companies. It turns out that less than 40 percent of large companies have achieved even modest value from their social media efforts, but nearly 90 percent expect to gain that value over the next three years.

A lot of companies are expecting many good things from social media. To gain that value they'll need to have solid social media strategies and good execution. But even that might not be enough; it also depends on what their customers are doing.
That leads to an important question: What are consumers doing in social media? Temkin Group will be publishing new research on how U.S. consumers use social media and mobile. Here's a summary of adoption patterns for four social media activities: reading Facebook, reading Twitter, reading online review, and looking up information on LinkedIn.

As you can see from the chart, Facebook is part of the daily routine for half of all consumers. The other activities are not nearly as popular. Twitter gets a lot of attention, but only 13 percent of Americans read Twitter daily and only one third read it at all. Online reviews and ratings are very popular, being read by 80 percent of consumers, but most consumers don't even use this social media asset weekly.

Can companies achieve their desired level of value from social media with this level of consumer adoption? Maybe. Companies need to refine their strategies to reflect the social media behavior of their target customers, because this data varies widely across different demographic groups. Here are some interesting factoids we found when examining adoption across different age groups:

  • Adults under the age of 35 are the most active daily Facebook users (70 percent), but even 26 percent of adults older than 75 use Facebook daily
  • Thirty-year-olds are the most active users of LinkedIn
  • Half of adults younger than 35 read Twitter, compared with only10 percent of consumers older than 64.
  • At least 60 percent of consumers across all age groups read online ratings and reviews.

Given the current (and increasing) level of social media activity with U.S. consumers, it makes sense for companies to develop a clear strategy in this area. To facilitate the process, execs should ask these five questions:

  1. What are we trying to achieve?
  2. Who is the target audience for these efforts?
  3. What are these people currently doing in social media?
  4. How can we tap into the social behaviors of our target audience and achieve our goals?
  5. What can we measure to make sure that the effort is working?

Good luck with your social media efforts.

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About the Author: Bruce Temkin is customer experience transformist and managing partner of Temkin Group, and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association. He blogs at Customer Experience Matters

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