According to several new studies, companies are not communicating effectively with their customers through Twitter or Facebook. Jan Rezab with Econsultancy Digital Marketers United writes about a study that clearly shows, on average, businesses respond just 5% of the time when customers pose questions on popular social media sites.
Maintaining active communication not only strengthens the relationship between consumer and retailer, it also improves brand equity in the public eye. Nothing sends a stronger message to the consumer than a company willing to stand behind their product and provide an open channel of communication and feedback. There’s a common misconception that all a company needs to be social in the digital age is a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Not so, say many researchers. The truth is that companies have to go beyond that first step and begin responding to those who show interest in their brand.
Nowadays, companies spend a lot of money attracting and luring new customers. Interestingly, consumers have actually become companies’ biggest brand ambassadors. I remember a time when identifying with a top retailer was considered selling out. This paradigm shift has put companies in a position that most do not seem to be managing well.
As business owners, some of the most valuable information we can glean from social media is consumer perception of our brand, products or services. The advent of technology has given us a platform to not only gauge feedback, but to have a direct line of communication with our end users. The moment our constituents feel wronged, technology allows us to instantly and immediately reach out.
Maritz Research surveyed an online panel of just under 1,300 U.S. consumers who use their Twitter accounts to communicate about products, services and companies. Nearly half of the respondents expected the companies to read their tweets, but only one-third received a company response to a tweeted complaint. Of the remaining two-thirds who did not receive feedback, an overwhelming 86% would have “liked or loved” to get some type of company response.
The message is clear and well-received by forward-thinking organizations such as Dell. The result is a stronger allegiance to brands, increased sales and the best kind of marketing a company can buy — an army of brand ambassadors.