A recent compilation of research on eMarketer shared that – surprise! – people don’t like being ignored by brands on social media. I mean, people don’t like being ignored in general, but when it comes to business-to-consumer offenses online, it can have some noteworthy repercussions: research firm Conversocial found that more than a quarter of survey respondents would no longer do business with a brand if their questions went unanswered on Facebook or Twitter. And let’s not forget the ripple effect: only 11.7 percent of survey participants said they wouldn’t care if they saw other user questions ignored online. Almost half said they would be far less likely to buy anything from that brand in the future, and the remainder said they would think twice (but recognized that there are other factors to consider).
That’s a big angry chunk of the pie. I know that I’ve had both positive and negative experiences with brands on social media that continue to influence my willingness to give them my money. And yes, some of those negative experiences have been when I had a problem and no one on the brand side ever acknowledged it (*cough*cough*Southwest Airlines*cough*cough*). While I’m a huge advocate for brands being on social media, they need to know that “getting a Twitter” just isn’t going to cut it. Once you go social, you need to be social; there’s no private office to hide from customers. While it’s not possible to respond to all feedback, questions and complaints merit timely acknowledgements – even if it’s a request to redirect the conversation to another, more manageable channel. Otherwise, it becomes worse than being on-hold for 20 minutes, because at least there, it’s initially a private frustration – until the angry customer blogs about it later, anyway, but that’s another story.