SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Social Media — tracks feedback from leading marketers about social media practices and issues.
If last week’s poll had me depressed and scratching my head about the long-term viability of social media and social business, this week’s results brought a pleasant surprise. The poll question: Which social media activity benefits your company the most?
- Community building: 20.41%
- Blogging: 19.39%
- Social monitoring (and responding): 19.39%
- Providing customer support through a social network: 15.31%
- Creating videos: 12.24%
- Microblogging: 7.14%
- Participating in groups, forums, Q-and-A sites: 6.12%
As you can see the results are fairly balanced, which to me is the pleasant surprise. It demonstrates that, yes, in fact, the use of social media is making progress in business (a topic we’ve discussed before). Businesses are evolving in a variety of ways to benefit from social media, and thankfully it’s not just in the area of marketing.
For instance, consider that if you add the responses for social monitoring (19%) and providing customer support (15%), you have 34% of respondents seeing the most benefit to their business by engaging in active listening in social channels. That seems incredible to me. I personally thought these two categories would have received the least response.
It is great to learn that organizations are investing in people, processes and technologies to adapt to today’s consumers and the channels they use to communicate. It also further illustrates the importance businesses are placing on protecting their reputations in social channels, again by actively listening (monitoring) and responding. Smart business, if you ask me.
Another point of interest is that microblogging, i.e. Twitter, received the second lowest amount of responses. While it is a channel that is likely used in monitoring and providing support, the nature of sending short messages is not making it to the top of the list as far as a benefit to the business. What do you think this is attributed to? Is it demographic related? Industry? Or simply that the other options just deliver that much more value?
Overall, as I said, I was pleasantly surprised with this week’s results. Meaningful progress is being made in becoming social.