Engagement, a New Social Media Trend for Marketers

Brands aren’t just present on social networks anymore; they are actively engaging

When social media started becoming popular, companies took strides to make themselves present on these networks.

However, many marketers weren’t immediately sure how to participate. They didn’t want to breach the peace between their company and their audience members.

A new study from Burson-Marstellar, a PR firm, analyzed social media presence of Fortune Global 100 companies. Their data can be found in the company’s “Global Social Media Check-Up 2011”.

The analysis showed that 25% of companies worldwide are using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogs. It also uncovered the statistic that 84% are using at least one social media platform.

Twitter has experienced growth as 77% of companies worldwide have accounts, compared to 65% in 2010.

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The survey also showed that 67% of companies on Twitter are using the “@” for direct mentions of other users while 57% retweet comments from other users.

This information shows that companies are realizing the value in growing a community around their content. Companies cannot just have a presence on social networks; they have to be actively engaging with their audience.

Personally, when I stumble upon a company through social media that isn’t actively engaging or responding to questions and comments from their audience, I question their social credibility. Are they on this social network because they feel they have to be, or because they truly want to be? It’s pretty easy to tell when there is no activity. When I experience this, I will often times I will look for my information elsewhere.

Furthermore, when companies aren’t actively engaging on social media, I begin to think that their methods for being present on social media is for marketing – something that won’t necessarily sit well with consumers. There has to be a give and take for social media. If you are actively engaged and providing valuable commentary, I don’t mind getting a sales pitch from time to time. However, if a company’s social media intentions are purely for promoting, the user experience will suffer.

For a graph of the breakdown on Twitter activity from the Fortune Global 100 companies, check of this article from eMarketer.

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