Monday, July 19

Trusting Companies: Consumers Look To Connect Online

Looking just beyond the drum beat of get social media or die, Siemens Enterprise Communications released a study that consumers are looking to connect with companies via social media platforms. Siemens is a provider of end-to-end enterprise communications, including voice, network infrastructure, and security solutions.

Interestingly enough, Siemens says the study shows that both employees and consumers want more social networking, but only about 30 percent of companies are ready to do so. According to the study, one-third do not have any formal policy, do not allow social networking at work, or aren't aware that their company is already being talked about online.

Conversely, despite some reservations about turing social media into a giant ad platform with companies blasting out information, consumers want to find companies online and on social networks where they participate. And, when they do have questions, they increasingly want expert interaction.

Selected Study Highlights From Consumers

• 70 percent of consumers want access to company experts via social media.
• 65 percent say that the online company to customer is a positive experience.
• 59 percent feel company outreach via social media will improve loyalty.
• 50 percent use social media daily or at least a few times every week.

The study may show how far social media and social networking have come since Forrester Research's study two years ago that concluded people don't trust blogs. People are becoming more trusting of the companies they engage online, with that trust clearly dependent on the interaction they provide.

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