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Convince and Convert – New Social Media Research Uncovers the Big Problem for Businesses

Convince & Convert



January 5, 2015

By Jay Baer


What you want social media to do for your business, and what real people want and expect from businesses in social media are fundamentally different. This expectations disconnect and dissonance is the nucleus of all that is wrong and difficult about social media from a company perspective.

In Q4 2014, Hubspot released new research called The Social Lifecycle. In this project, they interviewed 600 consumers about where and what and how they want to intersect with brands in social media, in both a marketing and customer service context. Several interesting findings in this research, and I was particularly intrigued because the new book I am working on focuses on the impact of speed on business and society. (that’s the first time I’ve mentioned the new book, so consider that the early preview to the tease to the coming soon).

Hubspot surfaced several conclusions and recommendations as part of this research, and Suzanne Delzio did a strong summary of it over at Social Media Examiner recently. But I want to isolate a finding that strikes at the very heart of the problem companies face when trying to use social media to build their business.

In Social Media, Companies are From Mars, and Customers are From Venus

According to Hubspot, consumers expect brands to be on almost 3.5 different social platforms.



More than 80% of respondents expect brands to be on Facebook, and more than 60% believe brands should be on Twitter. YouTube is a distant third at just over 40%.



That all makes sense, but here comes the disconnect. When asked by Hubspot, consumers on average follow brands on just over 1.5 social platforms. That’s not to say they follow their favorite brands on 1.5 platforms, it’s that they only use 1.5 platforms (on average) to follow any and all brands!



Even more striking is the finding that approximately 35% of consumers follow no brands on any social platform.

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