Sprout Social put out an article earlier this year on Social Media Stats Every Marketer Should Know.
Looking over these 28 statistics, you get a really good idea of what customers are expecting from companies, but also where the communication opportunities are being missed. And by “opportunities”, I mean “engaging with customers.” Customer expectations around brand response times and social media usage is only going to go up. And if you fight against it, you’ll lose. Sorry, the market and your customers always wins.
Here are a few customer insights I pulled from these stats covering Third Quarter vs Fourth Quarter usage:
1. Customers want to talk to you, but you don’t seem too eager to talk to them.
Not only are messages sent to companies up, but so are those requiring a response. What is your organization doing to respond to those people who want to talk to you? Ask you questions? Share their criticisms and feedback? Point out what has worked best for them? By not responding to your customers, what you’re really communicating to them is you don’t care what they have to say.
These stats also divided messages from general to those needing a response. I’d argue that almost every message requires a response, even if it’s just to acknowledge to the person that you heard them and have taken their comment seriously. That’s how relationships are made.
- Messages Sent to Brands Are Way Up – an average of 1,790 incoming messages in Q3 of 2013 to 2,742 in Q4 of 2015.
- Messages Requiring a Response Are Up – In Q3 2013, only 15% of social messages sent to brands required a response, but in recent quarters, that number has hovered around 43%.
- Brands Can’t Keep Up with Inbound Messages – In Q4 of 2013, 14% of messages received a response across industries. Today, the response rate has fallen to less than 11%.
- Social Media Response Time is Down – In Q4 of 2013, you had to wait about 13 hours until you received a response from a brand on social. These days that number has fallen to 11 hours. (Psst, remember those response time expectations?)
2. Stop being a narcissist.
If you’re at a party, a reunion, a networking event or any gathering of people, there’s always that one person that can’t stop talking about themselves. Now, who do you try to avoid at those functions? EXACTLY! So why is your business “that guy/gal?”. Yes, it is important to share what your company is doing and how awesome it is, but it’s more important to build relationships. And you can’t do that from a place of me, me, me.
- Brands Send More Promotions Than Replies – on average, brands send about 3.2 promotional messages for every customer reply.
3. The bigger you get, the bigger you suck.
So you would think companies that are larger, with more access to resources and revenue, would invest more into engaging with customers. You would think, but you’d be wrong. It’s actually the complete opposite. No matter the size of a company, customers expect to be treated well, which is demonstrated by a brand’s actions. And company’s have to keep in mind that customers are comparing their last, best customer experience to whatever service you are providing. That could be Amazon. Or Zappos. (hint: they’re good at customer service) It’s so very important to engage. But, looking at these stats…A) I’m wondering if small businesses tend to empower their staff to respond more, or B) um, does that actually say employees are only answering 1 out of the 10 social media messages they get? Do you only answer 1 out of 10 phone calls too? Big sigh.
- Small Businesses (0-200 employees) Average 10 Messages per Employee – and they actually answer more of those messages with a response rate of 10.7%.
- Medium Businesses (201-1000 employees) Average 6 Messages per Employee – and they respond to 10.1% of those messages.
- Large Businesses (1000+ employees) Average 0.5 Messages per Employee – and they respond to 10.6% of all incoming social messages.
4. Are you where your customers are?
By setting up a Twitter or Instagram account, or a Facebook page, there is an expectation from your customers that you’ve set up a place for them to engage with you. A place to talk, comment, get questions answered, etc. It is called SOCIAL media after all. In the study, it showed that even some of the bigger social media platforms, where most people are, are just not where company’s want to engage.
- Instagram Messages are Up – brands received 115% more messages from their audience on Instagram from Q3 to Q4, but they only increased the messages they sent by 28%.
- Twitter: Response Rate is 12.9% (aka companies are responding to 13ish tweets out of every 100)
- Facebook: Response Rate is 8.9%
5. Stop pretending people don’t use these platforms.
Looking at some of these statistics so far, you would come to the conclusion that a lot of companies don’t take social media platforms seriously, much less think it’s a place to spend time and resources. However, to look at the platforms, many have the population of large nations actively using them. Can you really afford to ignore how and where your customers want to be engaged?
- Instagram has 400 Million Active Users Sharing 40 Billion Photos Every Day since 2010
- Facebook has 1.04 Billion Daily and 1.59 Billion Monthly Active Users
- Facebook Mobile has 934 Million Mobile Daily and 1.44 Billion Mobile Monthly Active Users
- Twitter has 320 Million Monthly Active Users, with 80% on Mobile
- Youtube has 1 Billion Users, where people watch hundreds of Millions of Hours of Video a Day
6. Think beyond your backyard.
If you’re on social media, your company has an international presence, and the potential to reach for more future customers. How are you communicating with them? It’s important to consider different languages, work hours, timezone differences, weather patterns, and more when sharing content or engaging with customers.
- 79% of Twitter Accounts are Outside the US
- 83.6% of Daily Active Users Are Outside of the US and Canada
- 80% of Youtube Views are from Outside the US
- More than 400 Million Registered Linkedin Members are in More than 200 Countries
As we recently celebrated the 10th birthday of Twitter, it’s hard to ignore how that social media platform changed the nature and expectations of customers when engaging with their favourite and not so favourite brands. This isn’t something that is going away. It’s not a fad. And the more companies treat it as such, the more damage they’ll do around their social capital and brand image.
What are some examples of companies doing great work on social around customer service? Share below.