In a recently released Empirix sponsored web survey from Opus Research, companies were asked “ When thinking of collaboration or social media platforms to communicate with customers, which of the following do you use?”
Facebook Fan Sites
The second half of 2010 has witnessed a flurry of activity around Facebook. Its 500 million registered users have become a magnet for “social marketing” initiatives. Businesses of all sizes found it easy to raise visibility and build stronger communications bonds with their customers, first by starting a “Group” on Facebook then, more recently, by building a “Fan Page” where they can post (or more accurately “share”) news and activities for all to see.
Blogs are Also a Natural
Roughly one-third of the respondents indicated that they or their company communicate with their customers through blogs. More than half of respondents indicating that their company uses Twitter to communicate with customers .
Of all of the “social media” Twitter has the lowest barriers to entry (anyone can log on for an account) and has proven to be the most dynamic, in terms of adding or linking to a multiplicity of other media, social graphs and features (such as location awareness and checkins).
The survey shows that the percentage of respondents using Twitter is effectively the same as those who have organized online forums for customers and prospects. Many of these grew out of discussion groups or bulletin boards that grew up organically around a brand or a company. In many of these forums, company employees have an established and recognized role in fostering customer dialogue, curating content and aspiring to bring a sense of genuineness and involvement from the parent company.
For the most part, social media have not yet been elevated to the status of “priority” in business organizations. They have been deployed on the basis of providing a low-cost alternative to agent-assisted services, but very few respondents believe that the use of social media for customer care and support is merely a “fad.” The entire report Unifying’ the Conversational Contact Center can be read on CRMXchange.