The whole point of social media is that it’s about a two-way conversation. For businesses it’s about listening and engaging existing and potential customers by providing value. It’s therefore disappointing to see that according to a study conducted by Jim Singer, a partner at A.T. Kearny, out of Interbrand’s Top 50 Global Brands on Facebook, 27 of them won’t reply directly to their customers.
At best this is a missed opportunity and at worst it’s damaging to a brand. Ignoring your fans on a ‘fan page’ can only be negative. By creating interaction on your Page you can raise awareness and grow your audience. You can then develop a relationship with your fans by engaging them. More on this here: 5 ways to create interaction on your Page.
Reasons for a brand not replying to fans might include lack of allocated resources or the Marketing Department considering replies as customer services so not their concern. However, the first point can be remedied given we are talking about the budgets of the top 50 global brands. Regarding the second point it’s true that a brand might have separate Customer Services and Marketing Departments but such functions should talk to each other so they talk with their customers.
The results of the survey illustrate an opportunity for small businesses who can be more flexible in the running of their Facebook Page compared with large, slow to react conglomerate. Unlike big brands they should be able to find their voice more easily too as if run in-house the Administrator of the Page should have a good knowledge of the business and its customers. This is not always the case with brands especially if they are using inexperienced employees or an external agency to update their Page.
- Brands are ignoring their fans (intranetfuture.com)
- Why Social Media has raised the bar for Customer Service! (elizabethharmonblog.wordpress.com)
- Is It Time for Your Small Business to Start Using a Social Intranet? (thesmallbusinessplaybook.com)