Brands miss conversation

Brands miss conversation

Clare Kermond – August 19, 2011
The Age

Most marketers estimated that spending on social and digital marketing would increase over the next year.

DESPITE boosting their spending on digital marketing, many companies are still getting social media wrong, particularly in terms of analysing what’s being said about them online.

An international survey has tracked about 350,000 social media mentions over a six-month period to analyse the social media performance of big name global brands.

The companies were tweeted a standard customer service question, their response time and effectiveness was then compared to the amount of positive comments about the company online. The best-performing companies in a range of categories included American Airlines for travel, Citibank for banking and Dell for consumer electronics.

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The survey, by Alterian, found that 80 per cent of companies were concerned their brand was at risk from not being engaged with customers online, or from failing to have a good grasp of how online conversations were impacting their brand.

Most marketers estimated that spending on social and digital marketing would increase over the next year, with about a quarter predicting it would increase by 25 per cent or more.

But despite the survey finding that digital budgets were increasing, many companies were not analysing what was being said about them online, indicating they either have no analytical experience concerning digital media (6 per cent), stop at the basic analytical level (29 per cent) or struggle to tie analytics back to a campaign strategy (28 per cent).

Alterian’s senior vice-president for Asia Pacific, Chris Tew, said the research showed that many companies were confused about social media. He said his advice to companies would be to begin by listening to what was being said about them by their customers and competitors.

Mr Tew said social media monitoring was helpful in answering questions such as: Are there specific markets we should target? What are our competitors saying? What is our customer service like? What products and services do and don’t work?

“The survey shows the majority of brands lack direction on what exactly to measure and analyse, how to go about it, and how to utilise that information to continually improve on their marketing efforts,” Mr Tew said. He said some brands were setting the goal posts for what a social media presence should be, but others were at risk of being left behind. ”Consumers are taking notice and brands are being rewarded or punished accordingly.”

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