Most Brands Are Not Prepared to Manage Customer Complaints in Social Media

By on February 20, 2014

A new survey conducted by Social Media Marketing University uncovers that while customer complaints in social media are on the rise, more than 50 percent of brands don’t have an effective strategy in place to manage potentially damaging social commentary.

ATLANTA, Ga. — A recent survey conducted by Social Media Marketing University (SMMU) uncovered that while brands are plagued by negative posts created by customers, competitors and employees, more than 50 percent don’t have a strategy in place to manage social media complaints. Results of the survey will be covered in detail in an upcoming live training session, “Turning Rage into Raves: How to Manage Complaints, Rants and Other Negative Posts in Social Media.”rage to raves graphic

According to SMMU’s survey:

  • 58.2 percent of brands receive customer complaints via social media ‘occasionally.’ 10.9 percent receive them ‘somewhat often’ while 4.9 percent receive them ‘very often.’
  • 26.1 percent of brands’ reputations have been tarnished as a result of negative social media posts; 15.2 percent lost customers and 11.4 percent lost revenue.
  • 23.4 percent of brands not only do not have a strategy in place to manage negative social commentary, but do not have plans to develop one. 24.5 percent of brands are in the process of developing a strategy and 7.6 percent have strategies in place that are currently proving to be ineffective.

“So many brands are buying into the ‘friending equals spending’ mentality,” said John Souza, founder of Social Media Marketing University. “They want the benefits of social media but aren’t truly aware of the investment of effort that’s required to see a return. As a result, this lack of effort rarely produces desired results and can lead to alienation of customers, fans and followers. It can even escalate to a backlash of negativity.”

Recent surveys reported in news media found that customers expect a response to a complaint posted on a brand’s social media account within one hour. The SMMU survey found that only 17.6 percent of brands strive to meet this expectation. Most brands (52.2 percent) respond within 24 hours. An alarming 21.4 percent rarely or never respond to customer complaints in social media. These findings illustrate a widening gap between customer expectations in social media and brands’ social practice.

On Feb. 25, SMMU will provide a live training event to help brands combat and manage negative commentary in social media. To register for “Turning Rage into Raves: How to Manage Complaints, Rants and Other Negative Posts in Social Media,” visit www.socialmediamarketinguniversity.com/livetraining.

The session will include step-by-step instruction on how to manage negative commentary in social media, and provide several strategies that brands can put in place immediately after the training is completed.

“99 percent of the things brands are doing wrong in social media are fixable,” said Souza. “Our goal is to give brands the training and resources they need to not just identify the problem, but implement the solution.”

For more information about Social Media Marketing University, visit www.smmu.com. In addition to weekly live trainings, the firm offers comprehensive social media and online marketing e-courses on the following platforms and topics: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Video Marketing, Mobile Marketing, PPC, SEO, Strategic Public Relations, Local Marketing and Email Marketing. Certifications are available for all courses completed successfully.

Survey Methodology: The survey was conducted Feb. 10 – 13. The survey was distributed via Survey Gizmo to the SMMU database of marketers, social media strategists, C-Level executives and entrepreneurs. There were 1,036 respondents.

About Social Media Marketing University

Social Media Marketing University (SMMU) is the world’s most trusted social media training program. Courses are taught by some of the world’s foremost authorities on social media and online marketing best practices, and the social media class curriculum includes interactive sessions and instruction on social media strategy, platforms and tools. The program currently boasts nearly 3,000 graduates, and more than 65,000 business owners and business professionals have attended SMMU’s social media webinars. For more information, visit www.smmu.com.

About Ty Mays Kelty

Ty Mays Kelty is a public relations and social media strategist and freelance writer based in Atlanta, GA. Follow her @PerfectPitchPR.
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