We wrote about the importance and impact of social media on sales. Today we’re writing about how brands do (or do not effectively) use social media to learn about their customers. When businesses listen to and respond to customers — they learn about their likes, wants and needs. But according to data from Pivot, only 34% of businesses have even asked their customers. Highlights from Pivot include:

  • 76% of marketers feel they know what their customers want yet only 34% have asked customers.
  • 83% of consumers seek deals, but only 53% of businesses think that’s what customers really want.
  • 45% of marketers feel that rewards programs are important to customers and 70% of social consumers thought otherwise.
  • 59% and 58% of social customers wish to engage businesses to share feedback and to also receive customers service respectively; on the contrary only 37% of marketers believe that these services are in demand by their customers.

Helping Businesses Listen and Learn about Customer Needs

Companies are clamoring to be the one to provide businesses with the right tool or platform to manage customer relationships via social media. In fact, the social advertising and social media management markets are exploding with several recent high-profile acquisitions: Gannett Co. bought BLiNQ, Google bought Wildfire, Microsoft bought Yammer and Salesforce bought Buddy Media and Radian6. According to a recent report by @jowyang at Altimeter GroupSprinklr has the most capable social media management system to serve the needs of large organizations.

While some providers offer scalable solutions for only large global enterprises, there are many other providers that focus on delivering social media management solutions for specific platforms like Facebook or Twitter, or on the needs of smaller businesses. That said, there are solutions out there for every business, whether they want to better understand, market to, support or problem solve with their customers.

— Jennifer Schenberg, PenVine

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