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BizReport : Social Marketing : April 08, 2016


Brands: How to determine if social is a good CSR fit

Facebook and Twitter have recently expanded their business functionality, both in adding advertising options, and in removing the tweet length restrictions. These are good moves for brands, but aren't necessarily a call for all brands to push their customer service strategy further into social.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Social has become a kind of pseudo-customer service channel - what is driving this?

Darryl Villcorta, Social Media Manager, Sprout Social: Social media is not a pseudo-customer service channel, it's a primary and very real customer service channel that has totally changed the way brands and customers communicate. As people are increasingly active on social networks, especially on their mobile devices, social is a front line for asking questions and getting issues resolved.

Kristina: Currently, how important is social to customer service?

Darryl: According to our Sprout Social Q1 2016 Index, brands' incoming social messages have increased from 1,790 to 2,742 since Q3 2013. In addition, people's expectations are much higher when it comes to requiring a response from a brand. In Q3 2013, only 15 percent of social messages needed a response; in recent quarters, that number has hovered around 43 percent. Not only are people constantly talking with brands on social to get their problems solved, publicly, but unfortunately with varying degrees of success.

Kristina: As it is currently set up, should brands use social for these kinds of interactions?

Darryl: Engaging in conversation and social customer service is a must for brands in order to connect with people and meet their customers where they are most active. There's no question they should take advantage of social. Interestingly enough, as consumer demands increase on social, brand response rates are actually getting worse. According to our Sprout Social Q1 2016 Index, in Q4 2013, 14 percent of social messages across industries received a response. Today, the response rate has fallen to less than 11 percent. Not only that, but response times are also flattening. While the rate has decreased from the 13 hours in Q4 2013, people still wait an average of 11 hours for a response from a brand. That's not acceptable in any other form of customer service, so brands need to adjust resources and attention to social if they're going to meet expectations and, hopefully, surpass them to build loyalty and repeat business.



Image via Shutterstock

Tags: social commerce, social marketing, social media strategy, Sprout Social








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