A study from the Chief Marketing Officer Council and Lithium reveals a disconnect between what senior marketers think consumers want from social media, and what people actually want.
According to the 1,300-plus consumers surveyed online globally, there was an expectation that a brand follow, like, post or preference in a social media environment would enable a person to be eligible for exclusive offers (67 percent), have the opportunity to interact with other customers who share the same experiences (60 percent) and gain access to games or contests (65 percent).
In other words, consumers view a social media follow, like, +1 or other "vote" as part of a transaction. Users assent to public support for a brand, in return for value of some sort.
When the same question was asked to over 120 CMOs, the results were very different. The CMOs saw social engagement is more of a by-product of quality content. They tended not to believe they needed to provide incentives to foster and maintain loyalty among their followers.
According those surveyed, customers interact with brands because they; want to be heard (41 percent) or are looking for news or information about products (40 percent) Consumers want 'free stuff' from social
It appears consumers view social engagement in much the same way they see TV commercials, namely that it is an exchange of value. In exchange for ad exposure, viewers get free, no incremental cost or subsidized access to content.
Apparently, much the same sort of thinking is at work with social engagement mechanisms. Amazon recently took advantage of that sort of thinking, offering shoppers discounts of up to $5 for checking prices of products in retail outlets, and where Amazon sells the identical item, buying from Amazon, instead. Amazon "Price Check" promotion
That's a value exchange. The user checks a price, lets Amazon know, and then gets something in return if that item is purchased on Amazon.