Friday, February 12, 2010

3 New Studies Show Value of Social Media & Businesses Slow Response

#1: 50% of Small Businesses Say Lead Generation is Biggest Benefit of Social Networking

  • 50%: Generating leads
  • 45%: Keeping up with the industry
  • 44%: Monitoring online conversation
  • 38%: Finding vendors/suppliers

#2: Online Forum Users Are Enthusiastic Brand Advocates

  • 79.2% of forum contributors help a friend or family member make a decision about a product purchase – compared with 47.6% of non-contributors and 53.8% overall.
  • 65% of forum contributors share advice (offline and in person) based on information that they’ve read online – compared with 35% of non-contributors and 40.8% overall.
  • 57.7% of forum contributors proactively recommend someone make a particular purchase – compared with 16.9% of non-contributors and 24.9% overall.

#3: Only 47% of Companies Experimenting With Social Media

  • 47% of brands are still in the experimental phase, meaning they “exhibit lots of social activity with little connection or integration with each other.”
  • 24% are community ghost towns, meaning there is no engagement and very few members with no return visitors.
  • 20% show a cohesive strategy and typically had robust engagement tools and multiple activities with an active participation from their community.
  • 9% show community overload with multiple messages to the same audience, most likely causing confusion and diluting the message.

Of the 135 communities they examined, only:

  • 44 have a community manager. A community manager acts as the face of the community. Without one, there is no cohesive bond between the community sponsors and its members.
  • 44 allow social networking. This practice allows community members to connect with each other and find shared interests, thus promoting further connection.
  • 35 offer social bookmarking. This best practice gives community members a tool to personalize and aggregate their online experience at the brand’s destination site.

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