Marketers in the UK are finding that social media marketing is largely about the customer. In a February 2014 study conducted by immediate future, increased audience engagement was the top benefit of real-time social engagement, cited by 76% of respondents. Increased customer satisfaction ranked second, at 58%.
Despite these top benefits, just one-third of UK marketers found that real-time social media engagement was useful for increasing customer retention and loyalty.
Interacting with consumers in real time may be beneficial when it comes to fostering relationships, but it’s not easy, with UK marketers citing many challenges. More than three in five respondents said managing engagement outside of normal working hours was a top challenge, the No. 1 response. Consumers use social media before and after the workday—and they may expect brands that respond to them in real time during the day to do the same in the early morning or at night.
According to Q4 2013 data from GlobalWebIndex, UK social media users spent 1.6 hours daily on social media, suggesting that marketers have a limited time period to reach consumers while they’re active on social sites.
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