Businesses have often been warned not to begin marketing through social media unless they are prepared to keep it up, as inactive social media presences can do active harm to reputation. Now research has been conducted that shows how this works in numbers, at least on Twitter, and the results are striking. Most notable is that if a business does not respond to a user query within just one hour, more than half its customers will become dissatisfied.
This is just for queries. 72% of people with complaints expect a response in less than an hour. It can be difficult for a small business to maintain this level of communication, especially if it is operating across several time zones, but there are a few simple tricks that can help. The simplest is to route all Twitter mentions to an email account that can be monitored during working hours. The next step is to consider applying filtering software, which many email systems already have embedded, to these messages, using keywords such as unhappy, angry and urgent. These can then be routed to mobile phones that beep every time one arrives, meaning that a business owner or staff member always has the option of being available to deliver a quick response without having to sit staring at Twitter itself all the time.
The importance of meeting customer expectations is made clear by another scary statistic from the survey: 60% of customers who feel let down by a slow response will take "unpleasant actions" such as badmouthing the business to friends and family or complaining about it to their Twitter followers. This can happen even with individuals who have been positive about the business in the past.
The good news is that quick Twitter engagement can make a very good impression, even on customers who got in touch to complain about problems with goods or services. A prompt and friendly response is the key to successful social media marketing and results in 34% of Twitter users saying that they will be more likely to buy from the business in future, while 43% will recommend it to their friends and family. A further 42% will recommend it through social media, making this one of the most effective ways to turn problems into positives.
For further advice on effective use of Twitter and other aspects of social media marketing, give Xcellimark a call today.