Ignoring Your Customers on Social Media? Sprout Social Pushes For Change in Etiquette

Nov 05, 2015 — Brayden Gervan
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Are you actively using social media to your promote you company and brand? Just as importantly, are you actively responding to inbound social media messages?

Well according to The Sprout Social Index for Q4 2015, 83% of incoming social media messages to retailers are not being responded to.

This is problematic as we know how much of an impact social media can have on a company, both positively and negatively.

“Retailers are now sending about 3 times more promotional messages than replies throughout the year.” – The Sprout Social Index

So why it that these messages are being ignored? At the end of the day, it comes down to capacity. Social media is 24/7, with the potential for constant interaction with your customers. While it’s likely that your business is effectively using social media for outbound messaging and promotion, which is largely proactive, incoming social media forces you to be reactive. How you respond can have huge impact on your brand. In fact, engaged consumers are 7 times more likely to respond to a promotional o­ffer according to Rosette Consulting.

“Engaged consumers are 7 times more likely to respond to a promotional o­ffer.” - Rosette Consulting

So there seems to be an opportunity here. Sprout Social suggests, “social engagement will give wise retailers the competitive advantage this holiday season” and “that [by] actively listening and responding to people's concerns, you will be more likely to reach them with your promotional messages later on.”  So you can see, getting it right will lead to increased engagement, goodwill and hopefully result in a trickle down effective that leads to added customers and boosted revenue this holiday season.

So what do we do? Well, Sprout suggests keeping the capacity issue in mind when hiring this holiday season, but if you have already gone through this, here are some helpful hints published by Forbes back in January. These still hold true today and will for the foreseeable future, for whoever is managing your social media today.

1.      Be empathetic and avoid getting defensive.

2.      Reach out directly to social media complainers.

3.      Respond immediately, a delayed response can create a social media fiasco.

4.      Customer service training. Your social media coordinator needs as much as your traditional
         customer service reps.

5.      Prevent online complaints in the first place. 

Topics: Customer Experience, Retail Marketing

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