Think you can get away with not responding to tweets directed at your brand’s Twitter account? It shouldn’t come as a surprise that ignoring those tweets or even putting off responding, can be terribly damaging to your brand. Social media users have come to expect brand interaction, and Lithium Technologies has released findings that say more than 70 percent of Twitter users have come to expect a response from any brand they’re interacting with. On top of that, 53 percent expect that response within the hour.

Twitter users expect responses even more when they are complaining to a brand. When users are upset, 72 percent think it is reasonable to expect a response within the hour. On the other hand, responses are less expected when users are giving positive feedback or comments.

If you’re dealing with complaints, putting off responding can quickly turn damaging. Over half of the respondents said they would begin to create negative consequences such as telling their friends about their bad experience and expressing concerns through even more channels. One complaint on Twitter can turn into terrible word of mouth rather quickly.

Search Engine Watch has more details from the survey, but it is fairly clear that Twitter users expect interaction, and you’re hurting yourself by not engaging them back.

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