In today’s social media world, most brands are aware that it’s as important to respond to their customers online, as it is offline. Social media is now considered to be a legitimate customer relationship channel, and besides that, let’s remember the obvious - it’s public. We took a look at the mobile phone manufacturer industry, where customer care is paramount, and measured brands in terms of how Socially Devoted they are on Facebook during Q3.
It does a brand no favors to be seen to be ignoring its customers while in the public eye. The only thing worse than ignoring your fans is having a closed wall and not allowing fans to post at all. Especially when monitoring and analyzing the social media landscape can help your brand to align with market needs and engaging with fans (who are often customers) can lead to increased satisfaction rates and cost reduction.
Socially Devoted brands have a high response rate and engage with their fans as often as possible. In order to become Socially Devoted, brands must ensure their walls stay open and let fans post feedback about products and services as well as respond in a timely fashion as their customers don’t like to wait around. Brands must respond to at least 65% of fans’ questions, and attempt to respond to each fan individually.
NOTE: We went back to our Q3 results before we start publishing figures for Q4!
Here are some examples of brands that have a tremendous presence on FB but could handle their customer relations much better
LG Mobile proved to be the least socially devoted, earning a fan base of 1 036 665 with a 0% response rate. LG Mobile did not answer any questions out of the 1 577 posted, even though they have their wall open to the public and post updates on products almost daily.
Blackberry has 11 974 029 total fans on Facebook, and uses the platform to showcase their new products and applications. However, Blackberry only earned a 1.46% response rate, only answered 73 questions out of the 5 007 posted. This means that 4 934 questions were completely ignored.
Nokia also uses its Facebook page to advertise their new products, even promoting interaction by creating posts, like “In 2013 I will __________.” Though, Nokia has an 8 954 547 user fan base, the brand only earned a 4.36% response rate. This is due to the fact that they only answered 191 questions out of the 4 385 posted, ignoring 4 194.
HTC also asks fans to reply, creating a post that states, “My New Year’s Resolution is to __________________.” Even though HTC prompted fan interactions, they neglected to answer fan questions, ignoring 5 150 out of the 6 861 posted. HTC earned an 24.94% response rate, with a 2 530 105 fan base.
Social media, by definition, is a natural environment for fans (customers) to interact. If the main challenge for brands 3–4 years ago was to set up a social media presence and embrace feedback rather than ignoring it, in 2013 brands are expected to dedicate resources to social media customer care just as they do in the usual offline channels (i.e. call centers). Not responding to customers is as arrogant as hanging up the phone on them. Therefore we challenge brands to become Socially Devoted, nurture their relationships with fans, and embrace the fact that their customers expect nothing less!