Social media marketing is hardly the new kid on the block anymore. eMarketer estimates that among US businesses with at least 100 employees, 87% used social media for marketing last year, and 88% will do so this year.
But old problems still plague the space. Not only are many marketers still not measuring their efforts, dealing with negative buzz remains a questionable proposition for nearly half.
February 2014 research from social media training firm Social Media Marketing University (SMMU) found that fewer than half of US marketing professionals had an effective plan in place for dealing with negative posts on social sites. One-quarter did not have a plan but were working on one, and nearly one-quarter more had no plan—and no plan for a plan.
Not having a plan in place doesn’t mean marketers are doing nothing, however. While around one in five respondents said they rarely or never responded to negative social buzz, most marketers did—and quickly. Nearly as many answered within 1 hour, and a further 52% replied to posts within 24 hours.
Is responding without a plan a good thing? While many marketers certainly do so without a hitch, the room for error is clear. And since negative buzz can cause anxiety—or worse—among marketers that don’t have a plan in place, it can easily spur intemperate or otherwise poor responses.
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