Brands need to use social media the right way

stop-collaborate-and-listenSocial media is not delivering the desired result for the majority of enterprises worldwide, according to a global trend report published by Tata Consultancy Services. Very few (10 percent) enterprises have actually benefited from investments in social media.  Consumers do use social media to interact with companies but findings of the report indicate that only 27 percent of research and development/product development and 37 percent of product management departments read social media comments from consumers on a regular basis.  Eighty-one percent of those who are benefiting from social media go beyond just having company pages on social networks and have corporate blogs.

Companies that are very new to social media are more likely to centralise their social media activity as compared to organisations that are familiar with this way of engaging with consumers.

About two-thirds of the companies have at least one full-time equivalent (FTE) committed to social media but fail to achieve significant benefits as information does not reach the right functions.

Think about the “why” when using social media for marketing

Today’s customers are angry and frustrated; they don’t feel heard especially when brands ignore their requests/complaints via social media.  Brand relationships are so much more than a series of transactions between seller and buyer. At their best, they are experiences built on trust, dialogue, mutual interest, collaboration, and shared moments in time. Sounds a lot like the best human relationships, right? As the physical and digital worlds collapse into one, boundaries between brand and human relationships are vanishing into the background.


Bazaar Voice found that:

  • Responding to poor customer feedback increases purchase intent.
  • Brand responses improve product sentiment among potential buyers.
  • Lengthier, more detailed, and more balanced customer feedback is considered most helpful.
  • Reviews often contain calls to action – opportunities to respond.


In two tests, shoppers who saw a brand response that offered to refund, upgrade, or exchange the disgruntled customer’s product for a different model were 92% more likely to purchase than shoppers who saw no response.


Perception improves when brands respond to consumers

When done right, responding to feedback improves a brand’s image. After seeing a brand response to a review, 71% of consumers in the survey changed their perception of the brand.

Being truly responsive means using conversational, human language that fits the brand and avoiding “corporate speak.” Thank reviewers for their comments, good or bad. And never use a canned response. Copying and pasting the same response does not show a brand is listening; in fact, it suggests the opposite and is almost as bad as not responding at all.

screenshot_1247Key Take-aways

1ne: Don’t let managers strangle your customer culture with rules and control. Empower all your employees to make decisions to improve service.

2wo: Creating a customer-focused corporate culture requires leadership from the top down, from the bottom up and laterally. In the top-down model, CEOs, company presidents, vice presidents and other executives model the behavior they expect their employees to adopt.

3hree: Respond to customers in real-time when the complain via social media and solve their problem(s).  Don’t tell them to call your 800 number and get caught in an endless phone tree.

4our: You may see social media as a “sales” channel but consumers see it as your brand so you had better be listening.

5ive: Make sure the voice of your brand on social media is authentic and is passionate about your company/brand.  Believe me it shows in your responses.

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