In Q2 2014, Socialbakers found a huge gap between Socially Devoted and non-Socially Devoted brands on Twitter - and things look much better for the first group.
Author’s note: This article originally included a section about underperforming Twitter accounts which was not fairly representative of these brands’ performances. Many brands employ both a main Twitter handle and a service-specific account that replies to questions posted to the main page. When this happens, the main page appears to be extremely delinquent with regards to social customer care, although the brand as a whole is responsive. Socialbakers does recommend that brands maintain only one account for the sake of clarity and customer ease, but in fairness to those brands that invest serious time and resources to answer their fans questions from a service line, we have removed that section from this article.
Even though brands responded to 67% of questions on Facebook in Q2, further cementing its status as the go-to platform for social customer care, Twitter – the network that seems built for keeping customers engaged – is being criminally underused. The best-represented industries still only had a few of their brands make our list.
Additionally, only 45% of questions posed to brands on Twitter in Q2 were responded. That’s just crazy! Given how Twitter is tailor-made for having real-time conversations, it seems impossible for brands that equip their social media team with an enterprise publishing tool to answer so few questions. In fact, some service-dedicated Twitter accounts were among the worst respondents in Q2. But, fortunately for people wanting to engage with brands, the news isn’t all bad.
Those brands among the Socially Devoted – about 7% of global brands on Twitter – answered 63% of all questions asked on the platform. When brands respond effectively, it makes them worth going back to – and that’s how you build brand loyalty.
One important factor for Social Devotion is response time. Even if a brand answers 65% (or hopefully, much more) of the questions posted on its Twitter account, it needs to be able to respond to them rapidly. This aspect of social customer care is still where brands (even Socially Devoted brands) perform the worst.
Here are the brands that did the best responding to customer questions quickly and often.
Many Socially Devoted brands did respond somewhat quickly – 78% of them responded to customer questions within 10 hours. That’s okay, but could certainly be much better. Look at the chart above – it can be done!
Brands based in the United States and the United Kingdom split customer service wins in Q2. Brands in the US (there were 410 more based there than out of the UK) received more questions and responded faster than brands from any other region…but only when they responded at all.
British brands responded to far more questions than American brands. And, even with their “fastest” response time, American brands can’t really brag about their customer care on social – it still took them more than 12 hours. That just means everyone the world over needs to engage more and speed it up. Think about it like this – in those 12 hours your prospective customers are waiting for an answer, they can take their business somewhere more responsive.
Too few industries excelled at using Twitter for customer care in Q2. Even the most responsive industries only saw a few brands reach Socially Devoted status.
The Telecom industry was best-represented, with 28% of all brands passing our benchmark. They were followed by the Airline industry, of which 22% were Socially Devoted, and the Finance industry, where 15% of brands made the cut.
Among Socially Devoted brands, certain industries outclassed the rest.
Services achieved a Question Response Rate (QRR) of 63%, while other Socially Devoted mainstays Airlines and Telecom finished Q2 with 58% and 54% QRRs, respectively.
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