Plan to Fail, and Learn, in Social Media

Consumer insights on using social media

Great article in from Leonard Kile on the need for companies to get involved with social media, make mistakes and learn.  It’s entitled, “Plan to Fail In Social” (

Mr. Kile relays a message from Erik Qualman, the author of Socialnomics, which he defines as “word of mouth on steroids.”

Mr. Qualman shares one of my personal philosophies when he suggests, “you’re going to fail the first time you go social.  Fail first and fail fast.  You know you’re not going to get it 100 percent right your first time, but learn from it and move on.”

Based on research from the Altimeter Group, companies that use social media a lot see a 16% increase in revenue while companies that don’t use it have seen a 7% drop in revenue.

Nonetheless, most companies today still do not have a clearly defined or executed social media strategy even though this is how consumers want to interact with their product and service providers.

Here are some statistics from Avaya’s Contact Center Consumer Preference Study of more than 5,000 people around the world:

  • 40% of global consumers, 32% of U.S. consumers, prefer alternate methods of contact — web chat, self-service and text messaging versus phone-based customer service
  • 55%, 56% of U.S., said that in one to two years, email is what they will use regularly to reach customer service centers
  • 18% said web chat will be their preferred contact method in one to two years
  • 86%, 90% of U.S., said they are likely to tell friends, family or colleagues about a poor customer service center experience
  • Only 20% of U.S. consumers say they receive excellent service from call centers

Today there is no predominant mode of contact.  All media is relevant.

Other research found that consumers are willing to pay up to 20% more for a product if it came with good customer service — up 5 percent from a few years ago.

Forty-six percent of consumers think loyalty is important  but 83% will be loyal only if they are treated well.

Key conclusion, companies need to keep their social media and customer service efforts in-house in order to ensure consumers receive a consistently outstanding experience.

Is your firm offering multiple channels of customer service?


About Insights From Analytics

Integrated marketing professional who generates insights from analytics to increase revenue. Daily blog now resides at
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