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I had to come back to Econsultancy and write about this, as 1 year ago I wrote the article: Companies respond to just 5% of question on social media. Get it? Only 5% of all questions got answered. REALLY crazy!

Well, the market has evolved a bit, and based on our study, companies now respond 30% of all user questions.

This week we have launched a new standard called Socially Devoted. Its a new standard for social care, which is based on these principles:

a) You have to be an open company. Open up your walls, and your companies to feedback

b) You have to respond your fans. Respond at least 65% of all questions in social media

c) You have to respond quickly. Responding in the average 20+ hours won't do it. You have to try and respond in a matter of minutes. Thats how to do it. 

After defining it, we have done a study on over 10 000 brand pages on Facebook (for now, we will look at Twitter later), and analysed their wall post questions (the place where people actually place the most questions). 

As we dug deeper into this data, we understood that Telecom companies, Airlines, and Finance are the most responding categories. (See chart below, but that for example the Automobile category is really a disaster, responding the smallest amount of customers).

A really interesting statistic for example in the airline industry is, that some of the low-cost airlines like easyJet really do social marketing responses much better than their traditional peers. As I mentioned, British Airways chose to turn off their walls, which is a little crazy. 

Another fun fact is, that non-profit organizations respond much better than for-profit organization. Thats kind of interesting, and something to really stop and think about if you are a marketer and your profit business is performing worse than non-profits.  

One mobile operator, Vodafone, has actually proved that not only can they save quite a lot of money in social media (contact deflection in other, more expensive channels), they can also make new revenue through up selling the customers through social channels. Thats amazing! 

Its not a question of if you should do customer care in social media, its only a question of when and how. Some companies still choose to actually close their walls for user comments, including large companies like British Airways, American Express, and Microsoft. 

You do communication in marketing to get attention, but when you get that attention, you choose to ignore it. Amazing...

We would like to call up to brands, start responding to questions in social media. Its what you have to do, its naturally what you will do and everyone  knows it. Why not start now? Are you Socially Devoted? 

 

Jan Rezab

Published 22 June, 2012 by Jan Rezab

Jan Rezab is CEO at Candytech & Socialbakers and a contributor to Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter

8 more posts from this author

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Anna Lewis

Anna Lewis, Google Analytics Analyst at Koozai

It's really interesting to see how it's risen and which industries do best. 30% is good but I think companies will keep improving on this.

I've had good results tweeting a telecoms site rather than phoning - it saves a lot of time and money when you have to call an 0800 from a mobile and stay on hold for half an hour!

over 4 years ago

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Nick Stamoulis

"non-profit organizations respond much better than for-profit organization."

I wonder if that's because most non-profits are so reliant on the good will and strong connections of a smaller audience, each interaction is gold for them. A large enterprise can (literally) afford to ignore most of the questions posed in social media. A non-profit, especially a small, local one, cannot.

over 4 years ago

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Sara evans

Hi, interesting info here, but I was just wondering where the roi bit is (or am I being thick, it is Friday evening after all!)...

over 4 years ago

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Nathan Bonilla-Warford

As an optometrist, I find it interesting that health care as a sector is not represented on the chart at all.... Yes, health care does lag some of the other industries, but so much so that it is immeasurable?

over 4 years ago

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Dom Dwight, Brand Communications Manager at Taylors of Harrogate

Bit disappointed with this article - expected something more substantial given the title (ie was the ROI part just hype to pull me in?) and the fact that this is econsultancy we're talking about.

Interesting data on sectors and response rates nevertheless.

over 4 years ago

Robin Houghton

Robin Houghton, Director at Eggbox Marketing

Agreed this piece isn't up to econsultancy house style - written in a rush, perhaps, with no grammar/spell check, which detracts from the content - which is a shame as there's some good info here.

over 4 years ago

Jan Rezab

Jan Rezab, CEO at Socialbakers

Dom, Robin: Would be happy to explain further. We had a long last week, would be happy to continue working on this content piece.

From my side, ROI in every channel in marketing is defined by conversations = people talking to you, engagement, and you talking back. We monitored exactly that, and thats why we say this determines social ROI = because if the companies dont talk back, they will lose money.

Please watch this video, might give some better guidance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dN7ThvNrzxA

over 4 years ago

Joseph Griffiths-Barrasso

Joseph Griffiths-Barrasso, Digtial Marketing Executive at Bauer Media

You mean ROE don't you? Return on engagement...I agree, this article felt rushed, but you know I actually absorb the shorter more poignant articles, so keep up the shortness and I'll drink to being succinct and to the point any day :0)

over 4 years ago

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David Titley, Senior Designer/Developer at The Partnership UK Ltd

Would be good to see the proof of Vodafones increased revenue through upselling via social media in the form of some statistical data perhaps, or a case study - or is this just hearsay? Bit misleading this article...

over 4 years ago

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Dom Dwight, Brand Communications Manager at Taylors of Harrogate

Thanks for the reply Jan. Am watching the vid now to find out more!

Joseph - totally agree that shorter posts are good and easier to digest. I just interpreted the title to mean I'd be reading less about who is and who isn't responding, and more about why people should respond, with data to back up the theory.

over 4 years ago

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Nicole Scheid

This whole "Socially Devoted" hoopla needs to be given a reality check. As everyone is saying, it's all about ROI. Social has gotten off the hook for far too long in today's world of marketing accountability. It's not REALLY about 'Likes', it's certainly not about 'Stories' - especially when the vast majority of these are gained through bribery or stunts.

Show us the money: how does being "Socially Devoted" actually contribute to the bottom line. It also needs to be addressed that a good part of those 70% of people who's questions are going unanswered are because they're asking the same questions as people did the day before (or the HOUR before). Case in point: the inability of companies to answer more than 30% of questions due to the FUNCTIONAL INEFFICIENCIES of the channel should also be called into question.

It's well and good for social consultants to trot out this drivel, but marketing managers nowadays have to actually ANSWER for their actions. The economy does not run on fluff.

over 4 years ago

Jan Rezab

Jan Rezab, CEO at Socialbakers

Joseph: Thanks for this. I liked the "ROE".

Jane: This is a case study provided by Vodafone, please see the YouTube video linked above.

Dom: Thank you, hope you liked it!

Nicole: I can certainly show you that it contributes 100% to your engagement bottom line. Example: Telco companies that do engagement with customers versus those that dont have on average 2x the Engagement Rate = Newsfeed Visibility of their posts. Now if that means you reach 2x your fans on a regular basis, that proves that it actually does affect more communication, correct?

This is pure data.

Functional inefficiency of that channel? Since when do we call asking customers inefficiencies? :)

" Could I have a coffee?"
"No, the guy behind you already asked for one! Shut up and go home."

I hope we dont want to treat customers like crap, thats all I am saying. Closing up in social media is treating customers like crap, really. Its a new form of customer care. And the beauty of it is, that its public.

over 4 years ago

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Nicole Scheid

Jan, as the lone marketing manager for a business with a global consumer base, I have a finite amount of time. I do invest some of this time and effort into our Facebook Brand Page, which is why I am more-than-aware of how cumbersome the channel currently is, and how this environment makes it less than ideal for providing customer service.

Instead of insulting marketers by saying that we treat our customers like crap, why not actually investigate the reasons why response rates are so low and act as an industry advocate for social marketers for how Facebook could improve the available toolset?

over 4 years ago

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David Jarvis aka DJ, Business Director, London at cxpartners

A few points here:

1. Customer Service is not "Marketing" in the MarComms sense. So we shouldn't try to measure it like that.

2. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter blur the boundaries between traditional MarComms and Customer Service. Therefore the way the platforms are managed needs to reflect that - the correct people in the organisation should be notified to respond.

3. "Not everything that can be counted counts. Not everything that counts can be counted." So perhaps social media efforts should be aligned with a brand's philosophy rather than with the finance director's view of the world?

4. Taking an aggressive tone against someone on an Internet forum usually doesn't lead to a happy ending - or get you what you want. See Godwin's Law: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/godwins-law

over 4 years ago

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David Titley, Senior Designer/Developer at The Partnership UK Ltd

Thanks Jan - I'll take a closer look at the video...

over 4 years ago

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