Edition XVII: Accelerate
Edition XVII: Accelerate
The future is bright for social media, with 71% of consumers finding themselves using social more in the last year than ever before. And it’s not just consumers upping their time online—brands are doubling down on social, too.
Social brings consumers close and your competitors closer, with 93% of marketers agreeing social accelerated competition in their industries. Jockeying for customers’ attention and establishing oneself as a market leader is that much harder among an exponentially growing audience.
When brands dig into the conversations and interactions available on social, they’ll uncover the data needed to stay ahead of the competition while simultaneously meeting tomorrow’s consumer expectations. In this year’s Sprout Social Index™, we examine what separates brands from their competitors and why brands must seize the social moment to become a market leader.
Stand out from the crowd
In any competitive environment, but especially on social, winners are determined by their ability to differentiate.
That intense competition might seem intimidating, but the powerful insights gleaned from social data can keep smart marketers one step ahead of the competition. In fact, 90% of marketers say data from social is what enables them to differentiate their brands in the market and stand out from their peers.
Ninety-three percent of marketers agree that social media accelerated competition within their industry
How social data informs marketers’ understanding of their competitors by rank
With insights from social, brands can distance themselves from their competitors and be even more relevant to their target consumer.
How social data informs marketers’ understanding of their customers by rank
Part of connecting with one’s target audience, however, includes understanding which social platforms consumers expect to see brands on.
Social platforms: What brands use vs. what consumers want brands to use more of
When asked about their goals for social, marketers listed increasing brand awareness (58%), community engagement (41%) and growing their audiences (35%) as their priorities.
Strong customer service defines a best-in-class brand on social, and the collaboration between marketers and customer support teams can ensure a consistent experience both on and offline.
What makes a brand best in class on social
Stand out with content
Learn what types of content marketers find most valuable for achieving their brand goals on social.Download the Content Benchmarks Report
Stay ahead of the social consumer
A defining trait of many exceptional brands on social is strong customer service, where responsiveness is key.
By benchmarking against average industry response times, marketers gain a clear understanding of how they measure up against their peers.
Average inbound messages and response rates by industry
Total inbound messages received per day
Daily response rate to messages
Data from social is a dynamic supply of market and consumer research. Feedback and reviews left on social empower marketers to better connect with their target audience and identify areas for growth.
Eighty-eight percent of consumers are likely to purchase from a brand after reading reviews from other customers on social media
How consumers prefer to leave feedback about a product or service
When marketers meet consumers’ expectations on social, the brand benefits extend to every area of the organization.
Actions consumers take when they follow brands on social
By prioritizing responsiveness and relevance on social, marketers can positively influence consumer behavior to benefit the entire organization.
Consumers want to be seen and understood by the brands they buy from, and they expect those interactions to play out on social.
Actions brands can take to get consumers to buy from them over a competitor
Reach the digital natives
Explore the difference in behaviors and preferences between Generation Z and Millennials to better engage these digital natives.Download the Digital Natives Report
Break through the social ceiling
While 88% of marketers agree their social strategy positively influences their bottom line, only 15% of marketers use social data to measure ROI.
How social data is viewed within an organization
How marketers use social data
Although marketers agree their social strategy positively influences their bottom line, only 15% of marketers use social data to measure ROI and social is still treated as a marketing only resource.
Marketers have an opportunity to educate the rest of their organizations on the power of social and where the future of business intelligence lies. When the entire organization learns to embrace social data, they’ll discover the path forward to rapid growth—and marketers will be the ones to show them the way.
Forty-six percent of social marketers say social data is primarily viewed within their organization as a marketing resource
Grow faster with social
Social will only continue to accelerate competition in nearly every industry, leaving brands with two options: embrace social and thrive, or do nothing and fall behind.
Every conversation and interaction on social provides another data point brands can tap to strengthen their customer relationships, inform their product development and pursue new business opportunities. With social, brands can exceed the expectations of their customers today and innovate for the customers of tomorrow.
Download the complete data report to accelerate your social strategy and drive your organization forward today.Get the PDF
The Sprout Social Index™ is a report compiled and released by Sprout Social. All referenced data is based on 1,002 US consumer respondents and 1,001 US marketer respondents. Both the consumer and marketer surveys were conducted online by Lucid between March 30 and April 6, 2021.
The report also analyzed more than 782 million messages from 534,000 public social profiles that were active between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. Data includes posts from Facebook, Google My Business, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TripAdvisor and Twitter. The top 0.5% of data was winsorized to limit the impact of extreme outliers.
Graphics are rounded to the nearest whole percentage and may not add up to exactly 100%.
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