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How Socially Engaged Is Your Brand? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Social media has changed how people and brands communicate with each other, creating expectations and new speed levels of interaction. A recent report by Sprout Social sheds some interesting light on how customer care and engagement have become intertwined in this new social reality brands must embrace.


Facebook is still the social king, yet it’s interesting to note how Twitter has been continuing its growth. In the past year alone, Facebook grew its user base by 7% while Twitter grew by 44%, for a combined growth of over 20%!

Monthly Active Users on Facebook, Twitter

Source: Sprout Social Index, December 2013

And while it’s interesting to note this combined network growth, what’s even more telling is the evolution of brand-to-consumer activity within these networks. In fact, the Index shows a 175% increase in messages sent to brands on Twitter and Facebook requiring a response or attention. This user engagement growth is nine times that of Facebook and Twitter networks combined!

User Growth in Social Networks vs User Engagement

Source: Sprout Social Index, December 2013

“User engagement is growing 9x as fast as Twitter and Facebook combined”


The report continues with industry comparisons in terms of brand engagement and responsiveness, as well as how consumers behave on various social channels. Where it becomes truly fascinating is when looking at how various industries vary in their response times and rates. Fascinating and shocking, really.

Response Rate & Time, per Industry

Source: Sprout Social Index, December 2013.

Taking a look at Travel & Hospitality for example, one might argue that 11.6 hours on average is a satisfying response time. The folks at KLM airlines would beg to differ, specially since they’ve implemented a response timer directly on their Twitter account. KLM airlines account on TwitterOr one might recall the stat taken from Social Habit study in the Fall of 2012 whereby 42% of social media users expect an answer within an hour!

But the real kicker can be found in the results of the right column, showcasing response rates, which average 17.6% across all industries (or 19% if looking specifically at Travel & Hospitality). Let’s look at this differently: that’s like saying 4 out of every 5 message, comment or question made to brands are left unanswered. Would this be accepted with any other channel, like phone or email?

You may think that the bigger the account, the harder it gets to respond (here again, check out the KLM twitter stats to see that it ain’t necessarily so). The findings in this Index indeed show a direct correlation between size of account and response rate, yet surprisingly it also showed the bigger the account, the faster the response time.

Check out the full infographic below or download the report by clicking here.

The Social Customer Infographic” by Sprout Social

The Social Customer Infographic

Join The Conversation

  • Mar 25 Posted 3 years ago Myle_L_V

    Very interesting report! Thanks. 17% response rate is definitely low!!

    I'd like to know the criteria for "messages requiring attention" though, as many social media contacts would not actually be sent on traditional channels... (Praise and ironic messages)

  • gonzogonzo's picture
    Feb 15 Posted 3 years ago gonzogonzo

    Excellent question, Joe. Actually, there is one specific chart in the report that addresses response rates and times per follower base size. So it appears that smaller brands respond more in general, but they are slower to do so. In other words, SMBs tend to have better response rates, but perhaps due to limited resources they will respond in a slower fashion.

    Besides this finding, I would say smaller brands overall probably have similar challenges but because they are more nimble by nature, they can embrace social media for customer care much quicker and mor efficiently than bigger brands.


  • Feb 14 Posted 3 years ago joewozny

    Hi Frederick

    Tx for the article.  I know that engaging at the right time is very important. How relevant is the analysis you provided for SMB's vs large brands?

    Joe Wozny

  • Tim Sweeney's picture
    Feb 8 Posted 3 years ago Tim Sweeney

    brands   can  be grown or  damaged   with  the tools available through  social networks- as Abraham Lincoln once said-

    "If I  only had one hour to  cut down a tree, I'd first spend 45 minutes sharpening my axe."

  • gonzogonzo's picture
    Feb 8 Posted 3 years ago gonzogonzo

    Thanks for the feedback, Hailley. Indeed, it's surprising to see how little brands seem to be answering customers on social media. Is it because volume is increasing overwhelmingly? Resources not allocated accordingly? Lack of focus? Not sure, but it does make you wonder how long brands can survive with such dismal customer care.



  • hailley's picture
    Feb 8 Posted 3 years ago hailley

    These are some really interesting statistics, Frederic! I'm wondering why brands are responding less and less, the fact that 4 in 5 messages go unanswered is very surprising to me! There have been a number of posts about how social media is turning into the new way to do customer service, which is why you would think those numbers would be the opposite. 

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