Businesses Still Failing Customers on Social Media

Engagement with customers is still a problem for businesses as a survey finds fewer than half of people are interacting with businesses on social media

social media failIn a survey conducted for 123-reg, the UK’s largest domain registrar, fewer than half of customers are engaging with businesses via social media channels.

Surveying 1,000 members of the general public, 123-reg asked them how they were connecting with firms on social media and 59% of respondents said they did not visit corporate social networking sites.

Those that did engage with businesses over social media did so becuase they were drawn in by compnay news (16%) or by deals and promotions (11%) with just 8% connecting to express their opinions.

The message from 123-reg is that businesses using social media need to keep their content "fresh and engaging".

Thomas Vollrath, the CEO of Host Europe, 123-reg’s parent company, said that businesses being on social media is still a long way off in terms of universal acceptance and that firms will need to work harder to add value to their social media channels if they are going to be of any tangible benefit to current and potential customers.

“Social media has of course transformed the ways in which we communicate with each other, but the transformation of consumer-business relations hasn’t quite been as forthcoming. Although a good number of people refrain from engaging with businesses on these channels, this is fast changing and, as we can see from these results, there are is a good number of users actively visiting corporate pages for company news, competitions and promotions.”

Vollrath pointed out that businesses are often still quite complacent about social media and that, along with having a website, the "build it and they will come" attitude is not enough.

 “Businesses entering into the social arena need to realise that they can’t just sit back and expect followers to come to them. While more established, well-known brands have enough gravitational pull to accrue followers, even they cannot rest on their laurels and expect them to stay there. Every business needs to ensure their content is fresh and engaging, and offers something unique.”

Vollrath focused on the content aspect of social media, adding that, if businesses can get this part right then customers might engage more:

“Your content is often point at which your brand is exposed to a potential customer, even before they think about using your products, so from the start it needs to offer something of value. It needs to be interesting, it needs to help them solve a problem, and it needs to provoke a discussion.”

The Host Europe Group CEO finished by saying:

“Ultimately, businesses need to give people a reason to come back again and if they know your content is useful and regularly updated, they will keep an eye on your activity.”

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For small businesses still looking for help with their social media take a look at is4profit’s business advice article Social Media Guidelines: Wings and Guardrails for Your Staff, Tips for Social Networks and the business blog post What Social Media has to offer PR.

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