A new “Social Media Benchmark Study” released by J.D. Power and Associates looks at how well different industries are using social media sites for marketing and servicing needs, finding that not all are adept at doing both. Among the more interesting results, though, the study finds that of the 23,200 US consumers surveyed who have interacted with a company via a social media channel, 67% had done so for servicing, versus 33% for marketing.
The report defines marketing engagements as including “connecting with consumers to build brand awareness and affinity, in addition to promoting coupons and deals,” while servicing engagements include “answering specific consumer questions or resolving problems.”
The study finds some significant age discrepancies in these two forms of engagement. For example, 18-29-year-old respondents were less likely than the 30-49 and 50+ groups to have interacted with a company in the marketing context (23%, 39%, and 38%, respectively). But, the youngest group was more likely to have engaged with brands from a servicing standpoint (43%, 39%, and 18%, respectively).
The rising use of social media as a customer service channel has been well-documented of late, but some brands aren’t necessarily responding in kind. For example, according to Socialbakers, in Q4 2012, brands left 45% of questions posed to their Facebook pages unanswered. And on Twitter, the results were even worse: brands responded to only 32% of the questions posted to their profiles. Another study from Simply Measured also tracked the customer service activities of the Interbrand 100 on Twitter, finding some to be far below par.
While the quality of social customer care can influence opinions about brands, so can the quality of marketing engagements, per the J.D. Power and Associates study. Among highly-satisfied consumers, 87% said that the social marketing interaction they had with the company “positively impacted” their likelihood to make a purchase from that company. Conversely, 1 in 10 of those who were less satisfied with their experience said that the interaction negatively impacted their likelihood to purchase.
About the Data: The J.D. Power and Associates study was fielded from November to December 2012, measuring the overall consumer experience in engaging with companies through their social platforms for both marketing and servicing needs across more than 100 US brands in 6 industries: airline; auto; banking; credit card; telecom; and utility.