Study Finds Retailers Not Utilizing Social Media To Its Highest Potential

Many companies are missing an opportunity to utilize social media channels to drive sales growth because of a misunderstanding of what consumers want out of those channels, a recent study by IBM finds. The study says a majority of consumers say the top reasons they interact with companies via social sites are to receive discounts and make purchases, yet companies rank those as the least likely reasons customers will follow them. Instead, businesses overestimate consumers’ desire to interact with the companies, believing consumers hope to feel connected or be part of a community.

Carolyn Baird, a co-author of the study, told Dow Jones Newswires the business community has a great opportunity to monetize social media, as companies launch campaigns or programs that have the potential to go viral.

Baird says companies have only been using social networking since 2009 to reach out to consumers, and many are anxious to build a footprint in that space.

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