Despite the fact that the average customer wants to interact via social media, 30 percent of companies don’t have a program in place to handle the demand. That’s according to a study by Yankee Group and it’s not really surprising. Many companies still see social media as a time-waster that keeps their employees from getting their work done. Some companies have even gone so far as to block sites such as Twitter and Facebook, but in cutting off their employees, they could be cutting off their virtual noses to spite their user profiles.
The Yankee Group study found that nearly 60% of customers feel company outreach via social media would improve their loyalty to a company.
70% said they want and trust company information that comes to them through social networks and most respondents said companies should monitor social media for customer feedback.
On the other side of the login, 70% of the employees surveyed felt that their company didn’t have the proper tools, stats and protocols in place to make social media useful and manageable.
For businesses, the only thing worse than being behind the times is jumping into social media without a plan. Back in January, P&G found itself in the middle of a social media uprising over their new not-so-improved Pampers. The company claimed all would be resolved once they launched their official media campaign, weeks after the products hit the shelves. In the meantime, angry moms were using their Facebook and Twitter accounts to instantly slam the company in a very public manner.
Social media isn’t going away. The companies that succeed will be the ones who set down proper policies and procedures for marketing and dealing with the consumer feedback across all of the channels. That also means installing tools to monitor stats and taking those Facebook blocks off their employees’ computers.
My advice. Stop worrying if Fred in accounting is Tweeting about the burrito he had for lunch, and start worring about the customer who just posted a Facebook photo of the poor quality product he bought with your name on it.