By Adam Fraser
Long-term readers of this blog will know I am a big fan of research reports into the media and marketing landscape but in particular, those that actually focus on what consumers want (rather than what brands think they want).
Hence I like the approach of the Sprout Social Index 2018 report which asked more than 2,000 social marketers how they approach structure, goals and content, their priorities and what they need to do their best work but then cross-referenced their efforts against what consumers actually want.
Probably no surprise that the report found a disconnect between what consumers want and what brands are providing.
Sprout found that the top three priorities for social marketers are posts that teach something (61 percent), posts that tell a story (58 percent) and posts that inspire (53 percent).
Meanwhile, the top three things that consumers are looking for are discounts or sales (72 percent), posts that showcase new products or services (60 percent) and posts that teach something (59 percent).
Social customer service featured prominently in the report.
- 88 percent of social marketers understand the importance of customer service via social media.
- 45 percent of consumers had reached out to companies via social media.
- For those consumers, 57 percent had questions for the company, 45 percent had issues with products or services and 34 percent wanted to commend the company on their product or service.
- 21 percent of consumers are more likely to buy from brands they can reach on social and 21 percent said they would rather talk with a brand on social platforms than call.
The report summarised “this tells us that social customer service has a financial impact and is swiftly becoming the consumer’s preferred care channel”.
Having previously talked often about brands listening first before shouting about their own brilliance, I also very much liked this paragraph in the intro:
“People spend time on social, first and foremost, to interact with family and friends. As brands put together campaigns and messaging, they must remember that they are guests at dinner, not members of the nuclear family: their role in user feeds is delicate, valuable and should be treated with great care.”
The report is packed with lots of other facts and insights on the social media landscape today and is a very useful reference point.