Are you paying attention to your business's Twitter feed? You might not be doing enough. New research shows that even the world's top brands aren't responding to many customers' tweets.
In fact, top brands only respond to 22 percent of tweets directed at them, according to a report from Freshdesk, a cloud-based customer support software company. The study analyzed 100 companies from Interbrand's 2014 list of the top consumer brands from Dec. 15–22.
This lack of response could prove detrimental to businesses.
"When consumers reach out to their favorite brands on Twitter, they expect a response, especially if it's a message asking for help or support," said Jill Soley, vice president of marketing at Freshdesk. [Customers Want Answers on Social Media — Don't Leave Them Hanging ]
"Companies that fail to respond to these messages are missing an opportunity to connect with their consumers and build brand loyalty in the long term, and they are missing that opportunity in a very public way."
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the analysis found that brands receive a high volume of tweets (about 1,000 a week on average). When it came to response times, brands took an average of 6 hours to respond when these tweets were directed toward the company's primary twitter handle, and 3 hours to respond to tweets directed toward brands' specific customer support handles.
And despite the fact that having a separate customer support account seemed to decrease response time, only 37 percent of the top 100 brands actually have separate handles dedicated to customer support, according to the study.
But not all brands seem to miss the mark when it comes to communicating with their customers on Twitter. The study found that both American Express and Samsung had a nearly 100 percent response rate.
If you're looking to improve your customer service on Twitter, it might be time to take some cues from American Express, Samsung and other brands with great social media customer service reputations. For more examples of companies with successful social strategies, check out Business News Daily's list here.