Brands: Pay attention to social media comments in internet time

listentomeA couple of years ago when I was shopping for a car turned to the auto makers Facebook page to see what others had said about their experience with the brand.  I purchased a Subaru Outback but I noticed that there were several complaints from disgruntled customers that had gone unanswered for days & weeks.  Why would any brand do this when 26.1 percent of brands reputations have been tarnished as a result of negative social media posts; 15.2 percent lost customers and 11.4 percent lost revenue?

Consumers expect brands to be on social media when they have complaints.  58.2 percent of brands receive customer complaints via social media ‘occasionally.’ 10.9 percent receive them ‘somewhat often’ while 4.9 percent receive them ‘very often.  What is most surprising is 23.4 percent of brands not only do not have a strategy in place to manage negative social commentary, but do not have plans to develop one. 24.5 percent of brands are in the process of developing a strategy and 7.6 percent have strategies in place that are currently proving to be ineffective.

Today brands have to fight for every customer and sales dollar and ignoring complaints on social media tells the online world that either you don’t care or are too busy to respond to individual consumers whose voices want to be heard.

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Your social media person has to be more than just a megaphone for your brand.  They have to be empathetic to customers’ needs and more importantly, they need to ask forgiveness when your brand disappoints them.   If you fail you risk negating your advertising at the expense of word-of-mouth.  Stop trying to quantify social media marketing and start do a better job listening and responding.

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