Only 30% of Companies Are Doing Social Media Correctly

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Socialbakers believes that only 30% of companies are doing social media correctly, and has launched a new online benchmark at socially-devoted.com to help organizations become more “socially devoted”.

The 150-person company provides a social analytics platform for marketers that measures how well brands are engaging with customers on platforms such as Facebook. At LeWeb London 2012, Socialbakers co-founder and CEO Jan Rezab talked about the need for “Social 2.0,” claiming that 70% of organization just use social as an advertising mechanism.

He said that customers are increasingly demanding, and have been evolving faster than consumer organizations. He proposed a “Manifest” for catching up with customer expectations on Facebook:

  1. Opening yourselves up – making sure you fan page has an open wall
  2. Responding to fan questions – responding to at least 75% of fan questions on your Fan Page
  3. Communicating in timely fashion– responding on time to your fans is crucial.

As an example of best practice, he cited the the example of Claro, a south American telecom company that responds to 60% of customer comments in under 10 minutes. He also lauded the social media strategy of Vodaphone UK, who were able to lower the number of customers contacting them through traditional more expensive channels, and make revenue through upselling other services to customers.

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He contrasted these organizations with the car industry, that responds on average to only 17% of questions. And he expressed amazement that companies like Skype, Disney, XBox260, British Airways, American Express, and MacDonald’s don’t allow posts to their Facebook wall at all: “What are they afraid of?”

In a blog post today, the company gave the list of most socially devoted industries on Facebook:

Rezab finished by emphasizing the importance of social analytics, that the first step to “social devotion” is measuring where you are today (using services such as Socialbakers, naturally).

What was lacking from the presentation was a more concrete discussion of the real-life difficulties of investing in “ever more social.” Rezab admitted that when Socialbakers reviewed its own performance, it found that only 50% of questions were being answered. There are very real downsides to opening up a company’s branded pages to all commenters. They can be high-jacked by a minority of angry customers, or social activists trying to embarrass the company, or inappropriate comments. And attempts to control or “censor” comments can lead to a backlash.

And, of course, requires extra staffing and extra costs. The reality is that companies are always interested in improving customer feedback, but have to assess whether it is the best profitable strategy. A more candid assessment of when extra investment in fast response times makes sense and when it doesn’t would have made the presentation more valuable.