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July 19, 2013

Staying on Top of Social Accounts Key to Keeping Customers Happy: Study

If you are a business owner, checking your social media accounts and responding to customers comments is now just as vital as answering your phone, according to a new study by Havas Worldwide.

Customers place a lot of weight on social responsiveness and businesses that do not make their social media accounts a priority run the risk of alienating current or potential patrons.

In a survey that polled 10,219 adults in 31 different countries, 48 percent of respondents said they would be annoyed if they did not receive “a fast response from a company or brand I contact via Facebook, Twitter, or another social media channel.”

Youth and young adults become annoyed more quickly by slow response times, with 54 percent of those in the 18 to 34-year-old group admitting that is the case.

According to Marketing Charts, that is a problem for many businesses.

“In Q1, according to Socialbakers, brands’ responses to queries on Twitter averaged more than 6-and-a-half hours,” Marketing Charts reported. “Facebook response times were even worse, averaging out at almost a full day. Even top retailers appear to be missing the cut.”

The Havas study also discovered that 58 percent of respondents overall, and 66 percent of the 18-34 age group, feel more connected to brands they can learn about and interact with online.

The younger age group also indicated they are more likely to buy from a business that is active on social networks.

This is unlikely to change either as more and more consumers use multiple devices for shopping online, although desktop computers are still the main go-to device in all countries.

“Overall, 80 percent have shopped through a home computer, 24 percent through a work computer, 25 percent through a Smartphone or other mobile device, and 14 percent through a tablet,” Havas said.

“As e-commerce extends to mobile technologies, growing numbers of hyperconnected consumers are making Smartphones a regular part of their purchasing processes.”