New study–percentage of population interacting with brands via social media doubles in eight months

The rise and rise of social media has been the biggest story in the startup world over the last decade, and one of the biggest stories globally full stop. I think that over the next ten years the story will shift from the rise of social media platforms themselves to how we use them to our advantage in just about every area of our personal and business lives. This belief underpins our strategy of investing in companies that help enterprises leverage social media which has led to investments in Conversocial (customers service over social media) and RadiumOne (social advertising).

That investment strategy received a boost this morning from new research from Fishburn Hedges which found that 36% of UK consumers have interacted with companies through social media, up from 19% eight months ago. This tells me that social media is rapidly becoming more pervasive and that there is still significant room for growth.

The research also found that 65% of the people who used social media to interact with brands believe it works better than call centres, and 40% of us believe that social media improves customer service.

They did sound a cautionary note though. Eva Keogan, head of innovation at Fishburn Hedges said:

Many people are currently enjoying the VIP treatment from brands on social media. As millions more catch on to this great route into traditional customer service channels, the challenge for brands will be maintaining the same level of service. Over the coming years, will Twitter become the next call centre? We are urging brands to think about this now, as there are some clear and simple ways to use these new customer service channels to great effect.

2,000 people took part in the research.