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Consumers Feel Left at the Social Media Altar

Consumers have come to expect a two-way dialogue with brands across social media, but feel they rarely get it. . / Credit: Bride and groom on cake image via Shutterstock

Though consumers and marketers both say that interacting through social media has strong benefits, there is a disconnect between consumer expectations and marketer engagement, a new survey shows. Consumers have come to expect a two-way dialogue with brands across social media platforms, but feel they rarely get it.

While 25 percent of consumers expect to hear back from a company when they tweet about a brand or product, only 9 percent actually receive a response, according to a survey conducted by Lithium Technologies, a social media software developer. And more than a third (35 percent) say that after "liking" a brand on Facebook, they expect to hear from the company—yet more than a half (58 percent) say they have never received a response from a company after "liking it."

"Consumers are increasingly expecting, even demanding, that brands interact with them through social media," said Katy Keim, Lithium chief marketing officer[s1] . "It’s not enough to just show up on social channels. Smart brands are taking control of social customer engagement by figuring out how to tackle meaningful activities with their social customers — things like collecting feedback and new product ideas."

[Social Media Now Top Marketing Pick for Local Businesses]

The lack of marketer engagement to date may stem in part from marketers' inability to demonstrate social media marketing ROI to the C-Suite, according to Lithium.

Forty-two percent of marketers say they are very concerned about demonstrating the value of social media to management, but only 4 percent say their ability to measure the overall impact of social media is excellent, according to Lithium research.

Measurement is also an issue for marketers, Lithium says. Though almost a third (31 percent) of them say that customer retention is quite important, only 4.6 percent say they are able to measure customer satisfaction extremely well.

And sometimes, Lithium says, the results are unconvincing. Eighty-six percent of marketers say they actively use Facebook in their marketing efforts, but only 2.8 percent report that when fans "like" their brand it results in better quality interactions.

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.

 [s1]Reminder to spell out all chief abbreviations on first reference unless it's CEO

Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and has a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.