If you went up to a salesperson in a store and asked them a question, you’d expect them to answer you.
You certainly wouldn’t expect them to ignore you. Yet research from Sprout Social shows that 89 per cent of all messages on social media go unanswered. Customers wouldn’t expect that in a store, and they don’t expect it on social media, either.
If consumers take the time to talk to a brand on a social network, or tag them in their message, but the brand doesn’t respond to them, that’s pretty rude! No wonder Sprout Social also says that one in three customers will go to a competitor if they’re ignored on social media.
Each opportunity to engage is an opportunity to build long-term brand trust. By ignoring customer questions, brands are not only missing that opportunity, but they’re potentially giving their business to a competitor.
From my own experience, as a long-term holder of grudges, on the occasions I have spoken to a brand and I’ve been ignored, it’s something I’ll hold against the brand for a long time. Consumers have long memories.
Brands need to make sure they’re listening and where necessary, responding to their customers, consumers, followers and fans.
To do that effectively means you have to be listening to who’s talking about you, even if they aren’t tagging the brand (and sometimes even if they’re not mentioning the brand specifically).
That means having a robust listening framework that helps you spot even obscure mentions of your brand, so you’re not missing those additional – and valuable – opportunities for engagement.