Consumers are increasingly seeing social media as a means to connect with brands, and the way businesses interact with them on social platforms can play a crucial role in managing brand reputation. However, new research from YouGov shows that the majority of brands are in fact missing out on opportunities to build on their relationship with consumers by ignoring their comments and advice posted on social sites.
The study finds that about half of consumers post negative comments on brand pages because they want brands to receive feedback and improve their products and services. Contrary to most brands´ perception that consumers complain online with the intention of embarrassing a business, just 17% of consumers actually have this in mind when posting online.
Overall, one in three consumers connects with a brand to complain, the research shows. It is critical that brands show that these complaints are taken into account and not simply ignored, as many tend to do. Some 44% say they interact with businesses to find out more information, which indicates that the information provided about the brands elsewhere is possibly unclear or insufficient.
More than one in four shoppers share information about their purchases online and about one in five discuss brands with their friends and family online. With the right attitude from brands and by enhancing their relationship with them, these consumers could become free-of-charge brand ambassadors, researchers note.