Back in December I shared results of a survey which revealed, among many other things, that marketers don't get it. They don't get why consumers want to engage and follow their brands in the social media space. Here's even more proof that brand managers and all marketers are failing to realize the real reason people interact with their brands via social media.

As anyone who's known me for five minutes or less knows that I am a huge fan of pop culture and I love to tie in pop culture references with the world of social media, advertising and marketing, hence my column for Marketing Profs not long ago May the Force Be With You: Movie Quotes & Social Media. It's obviously meant to take a lighthearted approach and look at social media and relate it to something most of us know and love - movies.

Taking creative license, I'll play the part of Col. Jessup and brand managers and marketers will play the part of Kaffee in the classic courtroom scene from the film A Few Good Men.

Steve: You want answers?
Marketers: I think I'm entitled to know the real reason people follow and like us in social media.


Steve: You want answers?
Marketers: I want the truth!


Steve: You can't handle the truth! Mr. Brand Manager and Ms. Product Marketer we live in a world where consumers don't give a damn about your content that you're sharing on your Facebook Wall or whatever it is your Tweeting about. What they care about is getting something in return for their loyalty, they care about coupons and promotions and exclusive offers... in other words social currency. They want to be rewarded for their loyalty.

I am of course simplifying this as the content you share on Facebook and Twitter, etc. does have value and needs to be engaging and interesting and relevant to your audience.

But... as I wrote in the post re: the aforementioned survey from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and Lithium, there is a disconnect between what a marketer thinks and what a consumer really wants. 65% of consumers say they engage with brands in social media for games, promotions, contests and exclusive offers BUT only 33% of marketers surveyed thought that was the reason as more marketers (57%) were under the impression that it was the content they were generating that was the reason for consumers liking them.

More Proof Of The Major Disconnect Between Brands And Consumers When It Comes To Social Media

Yet another study, this one conducted by Chief Marketer, revealed the same disconnect:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you see it?

59% of marketers in this survey think content is the key to engagement and way down in Part 2 at 39% you'll see the real reason consumers want to engage and follow: coupons, promotions, exclusive offers, etc. And even further down the list are coupons and discounts that can either be shared with their fellow consumers or available via a geo-location service such as FourSquare.

Brand managers, product marketers and marketers of all shapes and sizes, consumers are people and people are people which means they want something in return for their time, for their loyalty; they want something of value in exchange oh-so-valuable Like and Follow.

So the question to ask is what are you going to do about this?

What Mr. Brand Manager and Ms. Product Marketer are you going to do with this information?

What kind of "social currency" are your offering your customers and prospects?

How are you engaging them in the social media space?

Sources: Google Images, Chief Marketer

Steve Olenski is a freelance writer/blogger currently looking for full-time work. He has worked on some of the biggest brands in the world and has over 20 years experience in advertising and marketing. He lives in Philly and can be reached via emailTwitter LinkedIn or his website.