The Good, the Bad, and the (Not So) Ugly of Social Media

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A new survey reveals what marketers are getting right—and where they're going wrong on social.

So last Friday I talked about how to convert those casual social media follows into fervent brand promoters (if you haven't already, give it a quick read. It boasts some pretty interesting facts). Today I just wanted to write a quick blog piggybacking that story with some more titillating stats on how audiences use social to connect with brands, what they expect from companies, and how brands can improve their interactions with shoppers.

The Northridge Group study features survey answers from more than 1,000 consumers in the United States. Through this report, “The State of Customer Service Experience in 2015,” analysts attempt to provide a roadmap for how companies can turn social media into the linchpin that holds the entire customer experience together. Below are some of the more poignant points from the survey.

The good: what marketers are doing right
Consumers feel comfortable chatting with brands on social media. More than twice as many consumers use social media as the primary channel for making comments (8%), questions (7%), and complaints (6%) over problem resolution (2%).

Forty-seven percent of people plan to use social media next year the same or more than they currently do as a customer service channel.

Users are willing to share good experiences about brands just as much as bad experiences. In the survey an equal number of respondents (22%) use social media to share positive and negative experiences about a brand.

Twenty-six percent of consumers turn to social media when they can't reach a rep through another channel.

The bad: what marketers are doing wrong
One third of consumers who contact brands on social media never get a response.

About 33% of consumers who have used social media for customer service say the channel does not meet expectations.

Despite the immediacy of social media, just 13% of consumers get a response within minutes.

The (not so) ugly: the opportunity for marketers
More than 40% of consumers expect resolution within one hour when using social media as a customer service channel.

Sixty-three percent of consumers say that they have to engage with a brand two or more times on social media before a customer service inquiry or issue is resolved.

Just 2% of consumers use social media for urgent customer service issues.

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