Study Finds Businesses Are Still Pretty Bad At This

Chris CrumBusiness

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Brands are getting more messages on social media than ever, but they aren't getting much better at responding to them. This was a consistent narrative in the online business world last year, and in Q1 2016, it doesn't look like much is changing.

What can businesses do to be better at responding to messages on social media? Discuss.

Last summer, we looked at a study from Sprout Social finding that despite an increase in messages sent to brands on social media, 90% were going unanswered. As we said at the time, this is a pretty disturbing stat.

In November, they shared some updated findings, saying that retailers faced an uphill battle when it comes to social media engagement. That study found that the average retailer could expect 1,500 inbound messages in Q4, but 5 out of 6 of those messages would not get a prompt response. And it wasn't just a retailer issue. 8 in 9 messages sent to brands across industries went unanswered within the first 72 hours.

Sprout Social is now sharing some new findings on the topic.

"Brands are increasingly less considerate of consumer demands on social media," a spokesperson told us in an email. "More often, consumers are looking to engage with brands on social, but marketers are having a difficult time keeping up with those messages."

Facebook celebrated its 12th birthday this week, and considering that fact, the Sprout said, "It’s surprising to think brands are, in fact, getting worse at responding to customers on social media year-over-year. You would think that marketers would improve their social media strategy as the channel evolves."

"The Sprout Social Q1 2016 found that instead, the average consumer has to wait 11 hours for a response from a brand on social media," the spokesperson said. "While consumers wait for responses from brands, they send even more promotional messages. On Facebook, brands have increased the amount of messages they’re sending on Facebook by nearly 90 percent since Q4 2014, all the while ignoring consumer messages."

Here's a look at the average inbound message volume by industry:

Here's what the numbers look like for response:

While I'd encourage you to take a closer look the full report, the main takeaways are that brands are being hit with more messages, consumer expectations are increasing, response rates are getting worse, response times are flatlining, and brands are being even less considerate of customers.

Does this include you? Tell us how you avoid these pitfalls? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Images via Sprout Social

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.