IBM has released a study that says that many companies are botching engagement in social media. I would agree — but for different reasons than the IBM study shares.
The IBM study does draw a big conclusion that has the ring of truth, which is that some companies make false assumptions about what consumers want out of social media interactions with businesses.
From Dow Jones Newswire:
The study found that a majority of consumers say the top reasons they interact with companies via social sites are to receive discounts and make purchases, but companies rank those as the least likely reasons customers will follow them.
I think this is right on — that people are following those corporate logo’d accounts for discounts and special offers — and those accounts generally deliver with sales-focused content and rarely a good sense of who the human is behind the tweets.
Instead, businesses overestimate consumers’ desire to interact with the companies, believing consumers hope to feel connected or be part of a community.
Conversely, people are following PEOPLE on Twitter, who are the face and voice of a business. It is with these people, who interact and engage as the real people that they are, sometimes off-topic, sometimes silly, musing, funny, interesting and always responsive; that we want to interact, connect and recognize as part of our community — particularly when these people are local, small business representatives and those with whom we have relationships in person as well.
What do you think? Does the IBM study ring true to you?