Failure to Engage with Social Media Will Reduce Revenue and Increase Risk


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The Challenge: Social media platforms are crucial to building customer engagement, but the vast majority of marketers haven’t incorporated that reality into their daily workflow—with outsize consequences to their bottom lines.

Engaging in Social MediaA recent study by IBM found that while more than 80 percent of CMO’s track traditional information sources, only 26 percent of CMO’s track blogs?to say nothing of newer platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Mila D’Antonio at 1to1 Media described the consequences: “CMO’s who underestimate the impact of more deeply engaging in social media are missing opportunities to grow revenue, expand brand value, and strengthen customer loyalty.”

This disconnect costs businesses money.

Last week, American Express released their 2012 Global Customer Service Barometer. They found that consumers who use social media for customer service are significantly more valuable than the general population.

Socially engaged customers:

• Are almost twice as willing to spend more for excellent service than the general population.

• Are nearly three times as likely to communicate positive customer service experiences.

But there’s also a risk.

The flipside of socially engaged customers:

• They are over 50 percent more likely to cancel an intended purchase because of poor customer service than the general population.

• They are over twice as willing to share negative customer service experiences.

CMO’s cannot take advantage of the opportunities created by social media – or mitigate the risks – if they are not engaged participants themselves. As D’Antonio wrote, “Today’s CMO’s Should Be Social Media Socialites, not Wallflowers”.


? Establish Social Media KPIs

For too many CMO’s, tracking social media is an afterthought. To break this pattern, socially engaged marketers need to establish Key Performance Metrics (KPIs) for every social channel they engage, and build an organization that optimizes them.

? Track the Online Conversation in Real Time

Even if you’re not on the major social media platforms, your customers are—and they’re talking about you. Build a rigorous process to track your online reputation in real time, even on platforms you don’t actively engage.

? Expand PR Beyond Traditional Platforms

Marketing and PR efforts must be closely aligned, in traditional media and new. Traditional press releases and media blitzes still have their place, but an effective PR organization needs to spread the word on Facebook, Twitter and beyond.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ernan Roman
Ernan Roman (@ernanroman) is president of ERDM Corp. and author of Voice of the Customer Marketing. He was inducted into the DMA Marketing Hall of Fame due to the results his VoC research-based CX strategies achieve for clients such as IBM, Microsoft, QVC, Gilt and HP. ERDM conducts deep qualitative research to help companies understand how customers articulate their feelings and expectations for high value CX and personalization. Named one of the Top 40 Digital Luminaries and one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Marketing.


  1. For companies that are new to social media, using it can seem like performing a bungy jump–except you’re not sure the cord is attached.

    It doesn’t have to be that way, but many executives dive into to social media because they think in terms of implementing a ‘social media strategy,’ ignoring how it fits into business strategy. But only through understanding that context can companies select the right combination of tools and technologies.

    Risks associated with social media are a two-edged sword. There are definite risks associated with not using it and risks with using it. As you point out, prospects and customers who have adopted social media are more likely to spread negative messages than those who don’t.

    Oddly, when it comes to negative commentaries pulsing through social networks, many executives respond like deer in the headlights. According to a November, 2012 survey by Pragmatic Marketing, 25% of executives didn’t have a social media policy, and 8% were not sure. When it comes to responding to social media issues, 18% indicated that they’re ignored.

    Any strategy requires identification and management of risks and opportunities. A social media campaign that doesn’t include policies and plans for what to do when something goes wrong is an accident waiting to happen.


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