Social Media Strategy: Complaining Customers

As I’m transitioning into a career in social media, I have been doing some independent research regarding various social strategies. Today I found a note-worthy study that I thought was worth a share.

A recent survey was conducted by the Social Media Marketing University and published on Newswire regarding customer complaints via social media platforms. The survey concluded that brands are not prepared to handle complaints in social media. Long have I agreed with this statement, as I feel brands/companies are too slow or nonchalant in their responses. For me, complaints and the brands’ ability to handle various situations with customers over social media is a reason I like the industry so much. Social media adds a certain level of engagement (not to mention problem-solving) to your marketing efforts. It can make or break any campaign, and must be treated seriously.

The article explains that more than 50% of brands do not have an effective strategy to deal with social media complaints and hazards.  This is overwhelming to me. I cannot believe that reputable and widespread brands do not consider the threat of complaints before launching a social campaign. Furthermore, it is vastly important to deal with the complaints in a professional and timely matter.

I learned in class that all it takes is one positive, well-handled interaction to turn a complainer into an apostle. This is the type of job I find interesting and rewarding (albeit dealing with a lot of angry customers). I’ve always thought it could only be beneficial to respond to everyone as quickly and professionally as possible. Everyone loves a response, whether it be a solution to their problem, or a simple acknowledgement of their situation. Brands should learn to empathize with the average Joe. Hard work on this side of social media is crucial, and although it takes time it is one of the more advantageous strategies a company can set in place. Below you’ll see a pie graph illustrating the findings of the survey with regards to responding to customers:

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