New Razorfish Study Finds Brands Aren't Doing Enough to Engage Consumers on Social Platforms

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Research finds nearly one-third of social consumers are indifferent about brands on social media sites.

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Social media has quickly become one of the most talked-about topics in marketing. We didn't want this report to just be more of the same, so instead we took a different, more scientific approach to evaluating this phenomena and measuring its effects

A new report published today by Razorfish, one of the largest digital marketing companies in the world, indicates that about 33 percent of consumers are not connecting with brands on social networks -- creating a large, untapped audience for marketers willing to adapt to the social world. Fluent: The Razorfish Social Influence Marketing Report urges marketers to change the way they build relationships with consumers by abandoning one-way messaging and engaging with them on an authentic, personal level.

Fluent examines the rise of Social Influence Marketing - the method of employing social media and social influencers to meet a company's business and marketing objectives. The three-part report features a new proprietary survey that explores how social media informs consumer purchase behavior, and introduces the SIM Score - a new benchmark Razorfish developed to measure a brand's social influence and favorability relative to its competitors. Fluent also contains a collection of essays on topics such as using Twitter to build a better brand.

"Social media has quickly become one of the most talked-about topics in marketing. We didn't want this report to just be more of the same, so instead we took a different, more scientific approach to evaluating this phenomena and measuring its effects," said Shiv Singh, VP and Global Social Media Lead at Razorfish. "Today, a brand's actions speak louder than its words and pushing out messages is no longer enough to excite and engage consumers."

As the report's lead author, Singh will offer additional commentary on this report via his blog at http://www.goingsocialnow.com. The report can be downloaded from his blog or at http://fluent.razorfish.com.

Razorfish surveyed 1,000 consumers who reported both social media and e-commerce activity, in an effort to discover how social media and different social influencers affect purchasing decisions. The survey unearthed important implications for marketers, such as:

  • Brands must identify who influences perception. It is important to distinguish the type of influencer - offline peers, blogs, anonymous reviews, etc. - who affect brand affinity and purchase intent, noting this group will change as customers move through the marketing funnel.
  • Social media platforms require a new type of marketing language. Consumers engage more with brands with credible voices. They should be more participatory, humble, personal and authentic than that of traditional advertising messages - brands must develop social voices
  • Brands who provide value to consumers are rewarded by customer loyalty. Of those surveyed, 57% said they visited brand fan pages at least once every few weeks or months, proving consumers are not simply forming these affiliations and forgetting about them. If a brand provides current, relevant content, consumers will engage with it.

Razorfish developed a new index, the SIM Score, to determine how a brand is being talked about online. Collaborating with partners TNS Cymfony and the Keller Fay Group, Razorfish measured two factors, "reach" and "likeability," to establish a brand's SIM Score relative to its competitors. Recognizing the obvious problem of discounting offline influence, Razorfish also factored in word-of-mouth data from the real world. The report determined a SIM Score of 5-6 companies within four industries- financial services, pharmaceuticals, media and auto. In the auto industry, for example, Ford comes out on top with a SIM of 31, beating out Honda, GM, Nissan and Toyota.

"We believe that in time a brand's SIM score will be just as important as other industry indexes, like a Net Promoter Score, are today," Singh said. "Being able to quantify and track a brand's relative health on the social Web provides marketers with a vital benchmark not previously considered in Social Influence Marketing."

About Razorfish
Razorfish is one of the largest interactive marketing and technology companies in the world. With a demonstrated commitment to innovation, Razorfish counsels its clients on how to leverage digital channels such as the Web, mobile devices, in-store technologies and other emerging media to engage people, build brand loyalty and provide excellent customer service. The company is increasingly advising marketers on Social Influence Marketing, its approach for employing social media and social influencers to achieve the marketing and business needs of an organization. Its award-winning client teams provide solutions through their strategic counsel, digital advertising and content creation, media buying, analytics, technology and user experience. Razorfish has offices in markets across the United States, and in Australia, China, France, Germany, Japan, Spain and the United Kingdom. Clients include Carnival Cruise Lines, MillerCoors, Levi's, McDonald's and Starwood Hotels. Visit http://www.razorfish.com for more information, and follow us on Twitter at @Razorfish.

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