The top three concerns of marketers and merchandisers related to social media:
- Brand degradation fear – “people can trash my products in front of large audiences”?
- Competence fear – “I am using outdated marketing/merchandising techniques”?
- Competitive fear – “customer’s inclination to leave their site to find a more socially-engaging site”
These motivators, which drove the last wave of social media adoption, will also be driving the next wave in the coming year, says the study. Over the next 12 months, study respondents say they plan to adopt:
- Facebook Connect (31%)
- Social Listening Tools (31%)
- Customer Reviews (26%)
- Product Suggestions (26%)
The study also found the primary goal for adopting social media was:
- Customer engagement (39%)
- Mobilizing advocates to drive “word of mouth” (30%)
- Increasing brand loyalty (21%)
Lauren Freedman, President of the e-Tailing group, says “The integration of community and social networking within e-commerce has reached critical mass… failing to engage consumers via community and social media will have brand and bottom-line implications… “
Regarding advocacy and word of mouth (the #2 goal of using social media tools), the study found that Facebook is considered by brands and merchants to be the “single most effective tactic in mobilizing brand advocates and influencers to spread the word about products/services.”
Great insights from this study tells a bit about what demand in services will be over the coming year.