Companies ignoring social media will face a lot of consumer wrath in the future, says Gartner
The rage of social media among consumers is growing and so are the expectations from organizations’ regarding the use of these channels. Analysts at Gartner have explored the benefits, risks of social engagement, and come up with an interesting compilation.
It states that organizations that are not communicating via social media would face consumer wrath equivalent to the level faced when companies ignore basic expectations like responding to emails and phone calls. By 2014, this would be the scenario for companies ignoring social engagement. For now, organizations, who do have a social media account for brand promotion, should at least respond to inquiries generated through the platform. Consumers expect that minimum.
Carol Rozwell, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner:
“The dissatisfaction stemming from failure to respond via social channels can lead to up to a 15 percent increase in the churn rate for existing customers. It is crucial that organizations implement approaches to handling social media now. The effort involved in addressing social media commentary is not good cause to ignore relevant comments or solvable issues.”
Although, not all inquires or interaction would always be aimed directly at the companies. According to Gartner, it is important for companies to design a framework to effectively deal with social media interaction on related topics. A good tip is to develop a framework in line with how you deal with an inquiry that comes directly. The first thing to decide is whether to respond or not. Companies should set aside topics, which they wish to respond, and controversial ones to ignore completely. Organizations should also decide who should be responding.
After the social media engagement process is implemented, organizations should also keep a track of interactions taking place and analyze the data.
•“It’s important not only to keep records of individual conversations, but constantly to analyze the interactions to see what insights can be gleaned from them. We urge organizations to do three things. Firstly, participate — it’s important that organizations don’t let a fear of someone saying something bad about them stop them from participating in social media.”
•“Secondly, don’t assume all comments require the same level of attention — develop an appropriate response for the different types of interaction your business faces. Thirdly, plan for an increase in social commentary and adapt communications practices to cope — this will require changes in job descriptions, performance metrics and business processes.”
Although a number of organizations are creating social media success stories, the failure rate is still on a high side.
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