Report: Social complaining more influential than praise

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Complaining is the new black, at least on social media. That, according to new data from
WhoIsHostingThis which shows that about half of consumers have ‘called out’ a brand through social media. Many of these negative posts are put out via Facebook (61%) but Twitter (30%) is also a place where consumers are venting their frustration with brands.

So, while it’s important to note that social is driving traffic and purchases, a brands’ reaction and interaction to social media is also important to overall social marketing success. Consumers are continuing to turn to digital platforms like social media to voice their opinions, and it’s a trend that brands should monitor,” said Toni Allen, General Manager, “Our survey indicates that consumers are particularly impacted by negative reviews, with one in five respondents agreeing that negative reviews are more influential than their positive counterparts. And this “call-out” culture seems to be gaining momentum, with 73 percent of respondents finding it acceptable to call out a company online and another 53 percent believing it’s acceptable to call out a CEO in particular by name.”

What are consumers complaining about on social platforms? Restaurants bear the brunt of customer venting at 30% but retailers account for 10% of customers’ social media complaints. And they aren’t just complaining about service – some call out merchants or brands policies, and some complain about ads they don’t like, but pricing and experiences are two of the leading issues that will lead customers online to vent. And that venting can have an impact on the brand as a whole.

What may hurt the most, though, is that these bad reviews and complaints are holding weight with other customers, who are now making purchase decisions based on the bad reports rather than the good. About 23% of those surveyed say negative reviews are more impactful for them than positive (17%).

More data from the report can be accessed here.



Kristina Knight-1
Kristina Knight, Journalist , BA
Content Writer & Editor
Kristina Knight is a freelance writer with more than 15 years of experience writing on varied topics. Kristina’s focus for the past 10 years has been the small business, online marketing, and banking sectors, however, she keeps things interesting by writing about her experiences as an adoptive mom, parenting, and education issues. Kristina’s work has appeared with, NBC News,, DisasterNewsNetwork, and many more publications.