Two recent reports that caught our eye highlight the increasing importance of social media for brands and businesses.
The first, from brandsavant, is a US-based study that illustrates just how pervasive Twitter is becoming. There are two key stats in the report. The first is that 10% of Americans 12+ are using Twitter. More interesting still is the proportion of respondents that report heraing or reading about tweets outside of Twitter. In answer to the question ‘How often do you hear about Twitter feeds, commonly called tweets, through media such as TV, radio, newspapers, or websites other than Twitter?’ an incredible 44% claim to do so ‘almost every day.’ 16% say ‘regularly, but not daily,’ and 13% say ‘sometimes.’
Does this matter to how you’re using Twitter for your brand or business? Possibly. As the report points out: “Regardless of how you use Twitter, most Americans (as in an actual majority of Americans) view Twitter as a purely broadcast network.”
We don’t have equivalent figures for the UK, but assuming (and we think it’s a fair assumption) that they don’t differ significantly these findings suggest that Twitter has a role to play in communicating ‘big’ brand messages – both online and offline – as well as being a great tool for engaging with customers personally.
The second report, from American Express, highlights again the strong link between social media and customer service. The report makes for interesting reading (it’s another US-centric study, but is nonetheless salient) , but here are some of the key findings:
- Consumers who have used social media for service say they’d spend 21% more with companies who deliver great service – compared to 13% on average.
- One out of two respondents (55%) walked away from an intended purchase in the past year because of a poor customer service experience.
- One in five consumers (17%) say they’ve used social media at least once in the last year to obtain a customer service response.
- People who have used social media for customer service at least once in the last year are willing to spend substantially more (21%) with companies they believe provide great service.