Study: Investing in social media not paying off for most companies

It appears websites still trump social media when it comes to making a buying decision.

Despite heavy investment by many companies in social sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, most consumers — nearly 90 percent — say they prefer to visit a company’s website to find out about their products.

The new study by the Incyte Group and Get Satisfaction says that most companies don’t understand how to properly leverage social media to drive business.

The problem is that many firms try to use social media to talk at consumers instead of with them.

“It’s clear that companies aren’t getting the results they need from investing in social media. Consumers don’t just want to be broadcasted to. They want to engage with each other and companies about products and services they care about,” said Wendy Lea, CEO of Get Satisfaction. “This study validates that social media strategy needs to include authentic customer engagement driven by a branded customer community and not be viewed and used as yet another digital advertising channel. Getting results from social media is about relevant interactions throughout the customer life cycle.”

Some other key findings:

  • Only 13 percent of consumers said they use social networks to research brands and products
  • Most consumers (83 percent) are willing to be advocates of a brand they like. About half of those are willing to do so without compensation.
  • When they do use social networks to share information with friends, Facebook is the overwhelming choice, with 35 percent of consumers saying they share through their Facebook wall. Only 4 percent identified Twitter as their primary methods.

You can download the full  study here. (It’s free, but you do have to provide some contact info.)

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