Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Do your customers expect you to be online?

The 2008 Cone Business in Social Media Study in the US, has found that 93 percent of social media users believe a company should have a presence in social media, while 85 percent believe a company should not only be present but also interact with its customers via social media.

With 60 percent of Americans now reportedly using online social networks, this means that more than 50 percent of the US population believes that the organisations they engage with require a social media presence.

Extrapolating this to Australia, which generally runs a few years behind the US, there's strong reasons to look seriously at engaging via social media channels.

It is estimated that almost half of all Australians use online social media (Neilsen). As such I'd expect that at least a third of Australians would similarly want to find Australian organisations represented at social media sites and around a quarter expect to engage them online.

As Australian Anthill's Brad Howarth suggests in the article, Not just for kids - social networks just grew up,
If social networking isn’t part of your marketing strategy, the only person’s time you’re wasting is your own.

Here's a couple of other interesting findings from Cone's report on how organisations are expected by their customers to engage,
  • Companies should use social networks to solve my problems (43%)
  • Companies should solicit feedback on their products and services (41%)
  • Companies should develop new ways for consumers to interact with their brand (37%)
  • Companies should market to consumers (25%)

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