Posted on June 8 in Marketing Strategy

Is Corporate Customer Engagement One-Sided?

While marketers are investing to connect with you, that doesn’t mean they’re investing to keep you.

By Margaret Lisi, CEO

While it may feel like obvious that, today, corporations should meet their customers and prospects online, adoption of social media tools by enterprises continues to make slow and ungainly strides. Some barriers to adoption are obvious: any company that works with finance or those with customer data lists containing sensitive information are, obviously, wary and rightly so. No one wants to be the next eBay or Home Depot, who experienced devastating data breaches, and security is rightly the priority.

However, sixty-five percent of all adults use social media and expect companies to keep up., This article from hows consumers today expect online customer service to move at the same speed of online transactions.

Social is so popular, its become much easier to add to a marketing mix. However, an infographic from Socially Aware (sources are at the bottom of the graphic) pieced together some stats on social media marketing that should make any advertiser think twice:

  • $7.52 billion, the amount U.S. marketers spent on social media marketing in 2014
  • $16.1 billion was spent on social media in 2014 globally, a 45% increase over 2013
  • 13.2%, the amount of budget marketing execs planned to spend on social media 2015

Successfully adopting social media to interact with consumers requires more thought and engagement on the corporate side of the conversation than currently exists. Most corporations still offer woefully underwhelming social media responses to the very consumers they’ve worked so hard, and spent so much, to attract. West Interactive lays it out for you in a great infographic here, but I’ve pulled out a few cautionary stats to illustrate what’s happening once those corporations lure customers to interact online:

  • 72% of Twitter users expect a response, and 42% expect it within that hour
  • 59% of questions and complaints made to brands on Twitter go unanswered
  • Just 36% of customers report having their problems effectively solved via social media, with fewer than ⅓ of firms utilizing a dedicated social service team to manage channels
  • 65% of businesses report they do not have dedicated social media team

What’s the likelihood YOU would return to any business with that kind of customer service?

Moreover, when these companies respond to online inquiries, are they serving up what consumers want? Don’t be so sure. A really useful, downloadable Sprout Social report says, “The retail industry is unleashing an onslaught of messages about itself at the expense of addressing real customer concerns, doing more harm than good in the social space. Just imagine having a pressing question about a product, only to be hit with a slew of sales promotions.”

Which illustrates a case of pervasive “I won’t give you what you want, I’ll give you what I want you to have,” which has never been a good rule of thumb for business and can be an even more public, damaging, costly approach today than ever before.

I’ll close with’s seven great tips on how to create the customer engagement you want, responsively and responsibly, in today’s digital world. It’s worth watching all seven diverse, minute-long stories from these marketing experts, and keeping their comments in mind to develop an effective two-way conversation in your company’s digital customer engagement plan.




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