Retailers may know they need a strong social media presence, but minding the store too often gets in the way of minding messages on sites like Facebook and Twitter.
In fact, the Sprout Social Index recently found that 5 in 6 messages sent retailers via such channels go unanswered.
“During the holidays, long lines and understaffed stores are common at many brick-and-mortar retail shops; according to the most recent Sprout Social Index, that trend has seeped into social media as well,” a report summary notes. “Today, people are failing to receive a prompt response from retail brands on social media 83 percent of the time — while the lucky few who do hear back have to wait an average of 12 hours.”
12 hours? Double ouch.
But retailers have just enough time to get their acts together for Holiday 2015 when — according to Sprout — “this holiday season, the average retailer can expect more than 1,500 inbound social messages — a nearly 20 percent jump from the number of messages brands in this industry received last year at this time.”
Sprout noted that rather than focusing on people’s concerns, retail brands send out three times as many promotional messages as they do helpful responses.
“Social media is an integral part of consumers’ daily lives and a critical communication channel for brands to engage in conversation with their customers during the holidays,” said Scott Brandt, CMO of Sprout Social.
“The Sprout Social Index reveals that more often than not, brands are silent when their customers reach out,” Brandt added. “Whether answering a product question or confirming a customer’s gift order, brands have an opportunity to positively influence awareness, customer loyalty, positive sentiment and seasonal sales through social media engagement.”