Monday, August 19, 2013

Social Listening – Are Your Consumers Liking It?

At a time when there is substantial noise being raised over an individual’s privacy, especially on social media, NetBase and J.D. Power and Associates conducted a survey on 1,062 consumers to find out if consumers know that companies are listening to them on the social media and how they feel about it.

The study reveals some interesting insights –

According to the Altimeter Group, 42% of companies have social listening as one of their top 3 priorities 

But consumers are apprehensive towards this popular business trend and increasingly expressing their angst over it. However, the nature of their response hasn’t been consistent either.

  • 51% of the consumers want to talk about organizations and their products; but they do not want these organizations to listen to their conversations.  
  • In fact, 43% of them believe that social listening is an intrusion into their privacy
  • But, completely contrasting to the above two ideas, there are also 32% of consumers who are completely unaware of the fact that organizations are listening to their social conversations.  
  • Another important aspect that this study revealed was that 48% of consumers wanted companies to listen to them on social media and use the conversations for product/service improvements.  
  • But there was also another 58% of them who opined that companies must use social listening only to respond to and solve customer complaints. 
But the real surprise was here-

  • 42% people want brands to respond without fail to their positive comments
  • 64% of consumers insist that brands must respond to social comments only when spoken to

This is a challenge to social media chiefs because such expectations from your social audience means that you must somehow, know beforehand how each of them is going to react to your social engagement efforts.

Now, we acknowledge that listening to, engaging with and understanding their social audience (customers, influencers, fans, stakeholders and even the competitors) are the three basic and fundamental principles of social media engagement for any brand marketers and the organization’s leadership. 

But, given the recent reservation among the consumers towards being listened to by brands on the social channels, the onus is now on the social media marketers, brand managers, CXOs and even social media monitoring and analytics people like us to delve deep into this new development and find new, feasible ways to, as the study’s infographic says, “demonstrate how listening doesn’t intrude but instead builds relationships”.

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