Why Brands Don’t Respond on Social Media

If you’ve ever used social media to ask a question, look for information or vent your frustration about a product or service, you may have wondered why your post was met with silence. Maybe another consumer responded with a suggestion, but where was the brand that was the subject of your ire? Why didn’t they reach out to help solve your problem? Given that so many people now use social media to discuss products and services, why aren’t brands tripping over themselves to offer help?

Companies clearly recognize the marketing opportunity that social media provides, yet most seem to be focused on relentlessly posting messages touting the virtues of their products, while very few have mastered the art of responding during the moments that matter most to consumers. A study by evolve24, a Maritz Research company that specializes in social media analytics, found that approximately 70 percent of customer service complaints made on Twitter are ignored. And for those that do respond to social media posts, response times are slow. A 2013 study by eDigital Research reported that 80 percent of social media responses took an average of 12 hours. Compare that to an average phone wait time of just 56 seconds.

A February 2014 study that Five9 conducted with the International Customer Research Institute (ICMI) revealed that while more than 68 percent of businesses recognize social media as a necessary service channel, 60 percent of companies are not formally supporting social customer care.

There are many reasons that brands often fall mute at some of the most critical moments in their relationship with their customers and prospects. The following are some of the most prevalent:

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Richard Dumas

I have led marketing and product management initiatives for leading technology, media and software companies including Nuance Communications, Sun Micro, Apple Computer and DNN Corp. I received an M.B.A. from M.I.T.’s Sloan School of Management and a B.A. in Cognitive Science from Wesleyan University. I am currently the Director of Product and Solution Marketing at Five9, the leading provider of cloud contact center software .