a blog by Liz Johnston… just a 20-something PR girl trying to find her way

Social media is, and has been, the rising tool within public relations to reach wide audiences. And while social media aims to capitalize on two-way communication and instant feedback from custumers, it has proven to be a challenge to measure its success and return on investment (ROI). How do we know that the 140 character tweets are doing any good? A new study by Harris Interactive has shown that retailers are using social media to bring back dissatisfied customers.

According to the study conducted in January 2011, if retailers listen and respond proactively to dissatisfied customers, businesses have an opportunity to win back those disgruntled customers and turn them into brand advocates. The study shows that when a company individually responds to a customer complaint, that act resonates with the customer.

“Among consumers who did get a response from the retailer to their negative review, the survey determined:

  • 33 percent followed up and reposted a positive review; and
  • 34 percent deleted their original negative review.

However, consumers have low expectations that retailers will monitor and respond to their negative reviews. Among the third of consumers whose negative review did not get a response, the survey determined that 61 percent would be shocked if the retailer had responded to their negative comment on the social web.”

So what does this tell us? There is a reason for this social media craze. Customers use social media to get their comments heard by someone out there, whether it be the company or another customer; and companies can use social media to unexpectedly respond to those criticisms and gain potential brand advocates.

Honestly, when it gets down to it, people just like to be heard. We all want to matter. So business of all types out there, I know you have heard about social media, and I am sure have started to jump on the bandwagon even if you are not sure why. Well, here it is the great mysterious why. Social media will allow you to reach your customers on a more personal and intimate level, proving to them, and all customers, that you listen and care about their feedback.

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Comments on: "Proving Social Media is Worth the Time and Resources" (1)

  1. […] Johnston reports on a new study by Harris Interactive that demonstrates the results of using two-way communication to follow up with customers who have posted complaints on the Internet. Liz will look for a Portland Experience internship for fall 2011 and will be on […]

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