Firms don't exploit social media, study finds

Swiss firms have not learnt how to get the most out of the growing social media trend, according to the E-Commerce Report 2012.

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While Swiss Firms seek a closer relationship with their customers they don't know how to achieve it. Last year many firms became active on facebook, to obtain as many «likes» as possible, the report's authors told a media conference in Zurich on Thursday. Firms that wanted to increase their number of facebook friends quickly offered incentives, including gift certificates or special offers.

«It is hard to ascertain the value of these bought facebook friends,» said the study carried out by the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland for internet payment firm Datatrans. The survey was carried out in the first quarter of this year and questioned representatives of 34 companies which are active in internet commerce.


«Two or three years ago people saw facebook as a gold mine. Now there is widespread disenchantment,» the report quoted Weltbild publishers CEO Rita Graf as saying. «Facebook has less influence on purchase decisions than we thought,» said Janos Heé, e-commerce manager with the airline Swiss. Many businesses which had actively embraced social media were disappointed with their experience of it so far, and some were planning to reduce their involvement, the report said. Study co-author Ralf Wölfle said expectations were now lower. Social media could help make brands better known but would not improve sales, he said. The study also found that orders made by mobile devices such as iPhones and iPads were booming. Swiss Federal Railways was selling more tickets by mobile phone than over its website, the company's e-business head said. One quarter of the firms questioned made more than five per cent of their sales through mobile device orders. (sda)

Erstellt: 24.05.2012, 16:37 Uhr

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