The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and Lithium, a social media tech firm, conducted a survey that found a disconnect between what marketers think consumers want vs. what consumers really want when it comes to social media.
The report, “Variance in the Social Brand Experience,” included input from over 1,300 consumers and over 120 CMOs who had very different ideas about the social media marketplace. While consumers continue to be very vocal about what they want in exchange for connecting with a brand on social media, CMOs still find it difficult to connect with their customers.
“The gap between what consumers want and what they’re getting from brands online represents a timely opportunity for social business advantage,” said Liz Miller, Vice President of Marketing Programs for the CMO Council. “By defining how well brands are embracing social media, how and why consumers use social media to engage and connect with brands, and what they expect as a result of ‘liking’ or following a brand, ‘Variance in the Social Brand Experience’ reveals how brands who give their social customers useful and engaging online experiences can gain a significant advantage in 2012.”
According to the report, 65 percent of consumers said that they connect with brands on Facebook and other social networks for the games, contests and promotions. Over 50 percent said that they connect with brands to learn about new products and over 30 percent just wanted to show that they are fans.
On the other hand, nearly 60 percent of CMOs believe people like their brand or follow them on social media because they like the content they are sharing, while only 33 percent believe their fans are looking for incentives or rewards, and only 27 percent believe customers are seeking special savings or experiences exclusive for followers.
When consumers were asked, “Why do you like a brand on Facebook?” 67 percent of the respondents said they do so to get exclusive offers.
“The social brand explosion has created a wave of loyalty among social consumers who are eager to show their support and share their experiences with others online, but this loyalty comes at a cost—from savings to games—that consumers see as their social currency,” said Miller. “Social media can garner significant influence and pull for marketers who can bridge this gap in expectation and execution.”
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