CHICAGO, July 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- People are increasingly taking to social media to get answers from brands—yet they are being ignored 88% of the time. Put into context, that's the equivalent to a customer service line answering only 1 in 8 phone calls.
The 2015 Sprout Social Index shines light on this and other shocking data that speaks volumes to the outdated approach most brands take to customer service, while a slim few—including many businesses based in the Middle East and Europe—appear to be gaining a competitive advantage.
Following benchmarks set in 2013 and 2014, Sprout Social, a social media engagement platform for businesses and agencies, highlights the need for faster responses from brands across the board. By aggregating and analyzing public Twitter and Facebook social profile data between Q2 2014 and Q2 2015, Sprout reveals that:
- Brands are being hit by an influx of social messages from customers.
- The number of social messages sent to brands globally has increased by 21%.
- Customers are waiting longer than ever to hear back from brands on social.
- Response times have increased by 4%.
- Response rates have decreased by 2.5%.
- Most people fail to receive a prompt response on social all together.
- A staggering 7 in 8 social messages to brands go unanswered within 72 hours.
Despite significant gains in the perception and value of social media, The Sprout Social Index shows that many brands remain unmoved in the quest to institute a fully functioning social communication strategy.
"Never before has a brand's responsibility to be responsive and engaged been so critical," said Justyn Howard, CEO of Sprout Social. "As open communication with brands shapes a new wave of interaction, the need for social teams to to be active and authentic day in and day out matters more than ever. Our mission with The Sprout Social Index remains focused on analyzing social data to draw out trends and pinpoint actionable insights that will equip brands to create stronger, longer-lasting customer relationships."
Segmentation of data by industry, message volume and audience size also provides brands with additional context and analysis at ways to best engage through social communication channels. Meanwhile, for the first time, Sprout explores differences in brand responses by region. Key findings from this data show that:
- The utilities and retail industries are becoming more conversational on social media.
- Utilities sends 1.4 times more posts than replies.
- Retail sends 2 times more posts than replies.
- The media/entertainment and real estate industries continue to take a broadcast approach to their social communications.
- Media/entertainment sends 8.4 times more posts than replies.
- Real estate sends 11.7 times more posts than replies.
- The Middle East and Europe have reason to celebrate how responsive their businesses are on social.
- The Middle East has the best response rate (at 13.1%).
- Europe has the fastest response time (at 10.5 hours).
Inside The Index, Sprout also outlines solutions for more effective social customer care, including:
- Developing a holistic social customer care strategy. Today, it is essential that brands think from a social-first perspective—reaching people where they want to be reached.
- Equipping customer service teams with the right social tools. Organizations must find scalable social media tools that integrate seamlessly with customer service applications.
- Actively listening and providing timely answers. Team members should understand how to monitor and respond to social messages in a timely fashion.
- Being authentic. Social media provides an opportunity for organizations to make a direct and personal connection with individuals rather than a mass bloc of consumers.
ABOUT THE DATA
The Sprout Social Index is a report compiled and released by Sprout Social. All referenced data is based on 97K public social profiles (52K Facebook, 45K Twitter) of continually active accounts between Q2 2014 and Q2 2015. More than 200 million messages sent during that time were analyzed for the purposes of this report. Some data from Q1 2013 to Q4 2013 may have shifted from the last Sprout Social Index report due to a shift in the social profiles analyzed; however, all overarching trends remain consistent.
Industry classifications were based on LinkedIn industry categories. In some cases, closely related industries were merged into a single overarching industry. All messages analyzed that were considered casual mentions or not in need of a response were excluded from engagement, response rate and response time calculations with the intention of eliminating noise. Analysis of which messages required attention was done using Sprout's proprietary technologies, with brands given 72 hours to respond. Response time and response rate calculations were done using Sprout's Engagement Reporting technology found in the Sprout Social platform.
ABOUT SPROUT SOCIAL
Sprout Social is a social media management platform for business. Sprout powers smart social communication for leading agencies and brands, including Anthropologie, GrubHub, Hyatt, MailChimp, Spotify and Zipcar. A powerful platform for social business available via web browser, iOS and Android apps, Sprout enables brands to more effectively communicate on social channels, collaborate across teams and provide an exceptional customer experience. Headquartered in Chicago, Sprout is a Twitter Certified Product, Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer and Google+ Pages API Partner. Learn more at sproutsocial.com.
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<p><strong><a href="http://sproutsocial.com/insights/sprout-social-index-2015/">"The Sprout Social Index: Most Brands Ignore 7 in 8 Messages on Social Media—Does Yours?"</a> by Sprout Social</strong><br /><br /><img src="http://sproutsocial.com/insights/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Sprout-Index-2015-Infographic1.png" alt="The Sprout Social Index Infographic 2015" width="640" border="0" /></p>
SOURCE Sprout Social