REPORT: T-Mobile USA Was Most Responsive U.S. Brand On Facebook In 1Q

By David Cohen 

Mobile service provider T-Mobile USA was the most responsive U.S. brand on Facebook in the first quarter of 2013, according to the latest Socially Devoted report from analytics provider Socialbakers.

Socialbakers includes brands that respond to at least 65 percent of questions submitted to them by Facebook users in its Socially Devoted index, and it subtracts the real number of questions ignored from the real number of questions answered. More details on how Socialbakers determines its Socially Devoted list are included below.

The top 10 on the U.S. Socially Devoted list for the first quarter of 2013 are:

  1. T-Mobile USA
  2. Dish Network
  3. Boost Mobile
  4. Best Buy
  5. LifeProof
  6. Sprint
  7. Verizon Wireless
  8. Applebee’s
  9. Cox Communications
  10. Target

Socialbakers described how it measures social devotion:

  • The company creates an open line of communication with fans: The brand’s social network page is set up in order to create an interaction with its fans. This means that brands should be posting sharable content that fans and followers can relate to and engage with. Regarding Facebook, the page’s walls must be open so that fans can post comments and questions.
  • The company responds to its fans’ questions at least 65 percent of the time: The brand responds to as many fan posts as possible. Our criteria state that at least 65 percent of all questions should be answered. In June 2012, the average industry response rate was just 30 percent, but it has since increased to 60 percent of questions responded to — a 100 percent increase! According to the 2013 first-quarter results, brands on Twitter respond to 38 percent of followers’ questions (a 4 percent increase compared with the response rates brands held in the fourth quarter of 2012.).
  • The company responds in a timely fashion: Your page essentially doubles as a customer-care site. Therefore, not responding in a timely manner is offputting for fans that are anxious for information. During the first quarter of 2013, the volume of questions asked by fans increased by 30 percent compared with those throughout the fourth quarter of 2012. In this quarter, brands performed fantastically, as they managed to answer 50 percent more questions than in the fourth quarter. The current industry benchmark allows for a response time of around 22.5 hours, although realistically, brands should be aiming to respond within 30 minutes. Depending on the nature of your service, you may want to consider 24/7 support.

Socialbakers CEO Jan Rezab said:

It’s been great to see U.S. brands improve in this respect, using social media more aggressively as a customer service tool. That said, American brands still have a lot of work to do as compared to worldwide brands like KLM. As we continue to measure social media responsiveness, the good news is that we are seeing new brands recognize the potential impact of social engagement on their business.

Readers: Which brands have you found to be the most responsive on Facebook?