- Majority of consumers (51%) believe brand responsiveness on social media makes the most impact.
- Despite past emphasis, only 1 in 4 consumers find brands memorable when they engage in social issues.
- AI adoption by marketers to ensure personalisation is escalating, though apprehensions around its usage persist.
From Following Trends to Providing Care: The New Brand Mandate
Over the years, social media has transitioned from a platform of casual interactions to a hub of brand-consumer trust. Brands have regularly tried setting themselves apart by addressing contemporary trends and social issues. However, as revealed by the 2023 Sprout Social Index, this might not be the most effective strategy anymore. The surprising insight from this year’s data: a whopping 51% of consumers deem a brand’s response on social platforms as the most lasting memory.
Why Authentic Engagement is No Longer Optional
Brands seeking engagement have now moved their strategy beyond just posting about products and services. With 68% of consumers on social media to get updated about these, what they crave more is an authentic dialogue. Personalised care, timely responses, and genuine interactions are topping the lists of consumer expectations. This craving for authenticity reveals a clear message to brands: Be more than just a billboard, be a companion.
How AI is Powering this Shift
It’s a digital age, and the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in optimising consumer interactions is on the rise. The recent survey underscores this trend with marketers highlighting the benefits of AI in their workflow:
- A significant 79% of marketers vouch for the positive impact of AI, stating it has created room for creativity and bolstered efficiency.
- Time-draining tasks such as data analysis are now being managed by AI, empowering marketers to focus on genuine engagements.
However, with every technological leap, there are concerns. Job displacements top the worries around AI, with a noteworthy number of marketers being wary about balancing human touch with machine efficiency.
Bracing for High Demands: The Current State of Social Teams
It’s a challenging time for social media teams. Consumers are asking for more, and their expectations are at an all-time high:
- Authenticity is the reigning king. Sadly, many brands fall short in this department.
- About 69% of consumers expect brands to furnish personalised responses to their outreach on social platforms.
- A staggering 70% anticipate a response within the same day they reach out.
To cater to these heightened demands, 43% of marketers are eyeing AI and automation tools to handle rudimentary inquiries, leaving space to foster deeper, meaningful consumer connections.
What Lies Ahead: Insights and Expectations
The 2023 Index uncovers a plethora of insights that are reshaping the brand-consumer dynamic:
- Despite the gains, marketers and consumers share concerns regarding AI’s integration into social media.
- Social teams need to step out of their silos. Collaboration across departments is essential to leverage insights and foster holistic growth.
- Evaluating the success of social engagements is evolving. The focus is shifting towards quantifying the ROI in terms of revenue, setting the stage for 2024 and beyond.
Organisational Structuring: Adaptability is Key
As the dynamics of social media continue to evolve, so does the structuring of social teams. Presently, 58% of these teams are organised based on specific platforms, with different members handling varying platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and more. As brands step into the future, adaptability will be paramount.
For an in-depth understanding of the transformation underway in the realm of social media, access the full 2023 Sprout Social Index report. And to get better acquainted with the global leader behind this groundbreaking research, Sprout Social, visit their official platforms.
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