‘More social media use now than during pandemic’

Why that’s important to your business…

SOCIAL media, according to research, is at the epicentre of brand-consumer trust.

Sprout Social surveyed 1,350 UK consumers and marketers. It found that there is more social media use now than there was during the pandemic —and marketers are leveraging AI in response.

Social media marketing wordcloudAlmost 80 percent of marketers say AI has had a positive impact on their work, citing more time for creativity (79 percent) and increased efficiency (73 percent). They are also seeing positive impacts of on data analysis.

Consumer expectations shift year to year, and today’s trend is to do more than engage with social issues. People are seeking trust and connection with a brand, requiring a more responsive and personal approach, says Jamie Gilpin, Sprout Social CMO.

“Social media is the channel for building that trust,” she said. “Our research shows that with AI-powered tools, marketers are able to do just that, and at-scale.” The technology was supporting social teams in streamlining workflows, delivering personalised insights, and creating memorable experiences, he said.

This year’s Index also reveals increasing demands on social teams. “Authenticity” tops the list of what consumers would like to see more of — and agility: 69 percent expect personal responses if they reach out. And 70 percent expect it on the same day.

Three-quarters (76 percent) place equal value on prioritised customer support. To meet demand, 43 percent of marketers see the solution in AI and automation tools.

Additional findings:

  • Marketers anticipate AI playing an increasing role in analysing social data (73 percent), content creation (65 percent), social media advertising targeting and campaign targeting (69 percent), and building chatbots (59 percent). On the flip side, job displacement is the #1 concern.
  • No silos. Social media’s role has expanded, and 76 percent of social marketers say their team’s insights inform other departments; 64 percent say other teams inform their social efforts. Despite this, 41 percent of social teams still feel siloed.
  • The social-to-revenue connection varies between practitioners and executives. Engagement metrics such as likes, shares, and comments are the most regularly tracked (78 percent of respondents). Mid-level management track social media traffic at a higher rate than executives (35 percent and 40 percent, respectively). Quantifying the value of social media engagement in terms of revenue will be marketers’ primary way of demonstrating impact on goals.
  • Adaptability is key. More than half of social media teams today are organised by specific social media platforms or networks, with one team member responsible for TikTok, another for Instagram, and so on. Other team structures will be based on audience functions, such as community management or customer support (45 percent), or distribution roles (41 percent).