Customers Reveal All: Why Brands Need to Pay Attention to Social Media

By Devon Glenn 

Between Twitter, Facebook, and other social channels, brands have to work harder than ever to keep in touch with their customers. To find out what customers really expect from brands, researchers at JWT/OgilvyAction and EXPO reached out to the most vocal and powerful customers of all.

In a quantitative study of consumers in the United States, the researchers learned that while 80 percent of shoppers are reaching out to brands online in some way, only one in four shoppers are active enough online to be considered “Brand Connected Consumers.” In plain English, BCCs are the people with the power to influence a brand’s reputation and drive sales.

At least once a week, these consumers are online searching for messages, videos, pictures or other information about brands. They also post messages about or directly to the brands on blogs, websites, and social networks.

If you’re a retailer or a Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) brand, you should have a solid social media strategy in place, as these are the types of brands that customers search for the most.

Most of the time, BCCs will write something positive about the brands they like.¬†Redbox’s quick response to a movie rental kiosk disaster turned an unhappy customer into a loyal fan.¬† “A simple tweet mentioning my disappointment that my rented Blu-Ray disc did not work resulted in Redbox proactively sending me a message and ensuring I received help with my rental including a refund and free credits for next time,” said the customer in a video testimonial. “I was pleasantly surprised at how quick and helpful they were!”

Other respondents said that when they do post something negative, the brands fail to respond more than half (56 percent) of the time. Seven out of 10 consumers reported that they stopped buying the brand as a result.

When the sponge wore out on one woman’s microdermabrasion scrubber from Conair, she went to the company’s website, called the customer service hotline, and searched “all over the internet” for information on a replacement part — but to no avail. “I’m not going to purchase from Conair ever again,” she said in a video testimonial.

Not only are BCCs likely to form a strong opinion about a brand based on its customer service style, but they are also going to spread the word to their friends on social media sites. “If I have a good experience, the whole world is going to hear about it,” the Conair customer added. “If I have a bad experience, the whole world is going to hear about it…I want to share it to help the people I care about.”

Image by lineartestpilot .