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BizReport : Social Marketing : February 17, 2015

Brands ill-equipped to adequately handle social media chatter

Yet another study reveals that brands are not adequately listening and responding to their social media audiences. According to Brandwatch, a whopping 89% of consumers' comments left on Facebook and Twitter go unanswered.

by Helen Leggatt

In their study of social media use among 60 major retail brands in the U.S. and U.K., Brandwatch found that social media listening and response is not keeping up with consumer expectations.

While major retail brands attract considerable attention from their social media audiences, Brandwatch revealed a major discrepancy between brand activity and consumer activity. While the average day on Facebook for a brand consists of publishing 1.58 posts and 25.82 comments they receive, in turn, 24.26 posts and 234.5 comments from their audience. That leaves around 89% of consumers' comments left unanswered or unacknowledged.

"Consumers are posting over 15 times more than brands do and have 9 times as many comments," writes James Lovejoy, content research for Brandwatch, on the company blog. "Undoubtedly, brands are missing out on opportunities to engage with consumers reaching out to them."

A similar picture emerges for retail brands on Twitter where, on average, 821.4 mentions featuring a brand's handle are generated with some leading brands attracting upwards of 11,000 mentions. However, just 40.3 get a response. According to the report, 'Social Listening for the Retail Industry', "a response rate of 4.9% indicates that many of these brands are not adequately equipped to handle the incoming chatter".

According to a Webhelp survey last year, two in five customers use multiple channels to resolve a single query but many businesses fail to adequately monitor and respond to queries left on social media. Webhelp's 'Connected Customers' report found that just 15% of the U.K.'s top companies bothered to respond to Tweets from customers and 64% took more than one hour to respond.

Another study, this time from Eptica but also conducted in the U.K, also uncovered the ineffective use of social media as a customer engagement channel. Their 'Multichannel Customer Experience Study' found that email was the best-performing channel with nearly two-thirds of questions addressed (63%) but just 33% of queries left on Twitter were answered effectively.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: brand marketing, social marketing, social media

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