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When It Comes To Social Media, Consumers Wont Take No For An Answer

Nearly 90% of consumers surveyed said they’d be either somewhat less likely or far less likely to do business with that company in the future if confronted with this… and it involves the word “no.”

Tapping into my vast and useless pop culture database (remember I just told you the other day of how much I enjoy tying in pop culture references to make a point) allow me to share the lyrics of one of my favorite songs from a When It Comes To Social Media, Consumers Wont Take No For An Answer image social media image1band called Genesis:

“Is anybody listening?
No reply at all…”

Feel free to sing along but this is the “no” in question; the “no” I made reference to in the title and opening line.

The “no” refers to the no reply, literally, that consumers abhor when it comes to brands and social media. A recent study, conducted by an Assistant Professor of Communications at New York University for Conversocial, revealed that nearly 90% of consumers, if confronted with unanswered customer complaints on a company’s social media site, would be either somewhat less likely or far less likely to do business with that company in the future.

When It Comes To Social Media, Consumers Wont Take No For An Answer image screen shot 2012 01 09 at 10.51.35 am

In other words… consumers want to know, brand managers and digital marketers of all sizes and shapes, that you are indeed listening to them and the way you can demonstrate that you are indeed listening to them is by responding to them… by engaging them. Yes, this takes a certain level of commitment on a brand’s part to have someone or a team dedicated to responding to as many questions and complains as humanly possible.

But when you consider the possible ramifications – nearly 90% remember said they would either be “somewhat less likely” or “far less likely” to purchase anything from such an offending company… the choice is pretty obvious. If they (consumers) are taking the time to send you a question or lodge a complaint, the least you can do is acknowledge them.

In her conclusion, Liel Leibovitz, the professor who led the research, spoke to the increasing amount of engagement and interaction on social media as well as the negative impact such behavior can have on a given company and brand:

“The lion’s share of consumers was both presently and increasingly engaged in communications with corporations on social media platforms… While social media sites are a growing frontier of consumer-corporate interaction, most respondents reported inadequate response times, unanswered queries, and unmet expectations. Most respondents were also adamant that such behavior would have some or much effect on their future decision to do business with offending corporations.”

I would say this (below) reflects just how adamant the survey responders were, wouldn’t you?

When It Comes To Social Media, Consumers Wont Take No For An Answer image screen shot 2012 01 09 at 11.55.35 am

Of course the word “eventually” is a very open-ended, vague word… Geez, I eventually want to lose some weight but when that will happen is anyone’s guess.

I digress but I was trying to make a point which is brand managers and digital marketers and social media marketers and so on and so forth should not look at the 52.4% “eventually” respondents and immediately assume “eventually” means when they get around to it. Consumers want to hear from you in a timely manner and yes, you know what timely manner means.

One Last Thing…

I just have to share one final result from the survey…

When It Comes To Social Media, Consumers Wont Take No For An Answer image screen shot 2012 01 09 at 12.02.11 pm

As soon as I came across this particular finding, I knew I had to share it…

Back on December 14th I wrote The Major Disconnect Between Brands And Consumers When It Comes To Social Media. I followed that up with a post on January 5th, Even More Proof Of The Major Disconnect Between Brands And Consumers When It Comes To Social Media.

In each of these posts were proof which showed what consumers really want from a brand in social media vs. what that same brand thinks a consumer wants.

Consider the chart above as yet another example of the major disconnect PLUS proof positive that brands want to know you are listening to them and they want you to show you are listening by engaging them.

How do you engage your customers?

How do you respond to questions and complaints you receive via social media?

What types of discounts and promotions do you offer your fans to keep them engaged?

Sources: Google Images, ConversocialStar Group

Steve Olenski is the Creative Director of Digital Services for Star Group, a marketing communications firm dedicated to driving engagement with B2B and B2C brands operating in today’s hyper-competitive, rapidly evolving digital marketplace. 

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