Marketing Or Interaction? How Does Your Business Use Social Media?

How does your business use the social media?

Do you sign into your Facebook account and market your products and services unashamedly, and constantly tweet your latest offering to all your followers? Or are you a little more reserved when it comes to social media marketing? Maybe you’re a bit of a shrinking violet, and only really get involved if anyone has something negative to say about your pride and joy. Well, you might be surprised to learn that you’re not in a minority: according to research just released, many B2B companies fail to maximise the opportunities that social media marketing opens up. Most of these, it appears, are quite happy just to use these platforms to interact, and would never dream of running a Facebook or Twitter promotion to maximise their online presence. So, what’s the problem?

According to a new report from computer giant, Dell, 75% of B2B companies will only use the social media for feedback and product development/revision. It seems they’re comfortable using the platforms to listen to customer feedback, and will take steps to rectify any problems or issues that are highlighted. What they won’t do is utilise the medium for advertising and promotion.76% will discuss any issues arising from feedback internally, while 64% take the feedback so seriously that they’ll amend and revise products to satisfy any concerns expressed by their customers.

Surprisingly the social media is not the focus of many businesses online marketing efforts: only 20% of the companies surveyed placed social media platforms at the centre of their online promotional strategy. 50% of the businesses did state that they took social campaigns seriously, but did not regard them as a core or integral part of their marketing strategy. According to Karen Quintos, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Dell, many companies have failed to see the connection, and are not making the best use of what is a fantastic marketing tool. They understand how useful the likes of Facebook and Twitter are for interaction, but that’s as far as it goes. She’s quoted as saying:

“Listening and responding to customers is so basic and fundamental. The emergence of social media elevates how companies can act on the feedback they get from customers.”

All that’s missing from that quote is the ‘but’ that should come at the end of the last sentence. The ‘but’ should read that they are wasting a valuable opportunity.

So, if your business is only using the social media to monitor feedback and interact with customers, then you too could be missing a trick.

Any business wishing to succeed really should make every conceivable effort to incorporate social media strategies into their broader online marketing campaigns. Yes, responding to feedback will win you some brownie points, but it won’t necessarily sell more products. If you want to maximise the potential of your business, then you’ll need to have a strong and proactive social presence.

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