According to Search Engine Watch, 7 in 10 Twitter users expect to receive a response from brands that they reach out to. Of these, 53% expect it in less than an hour. And if they're tweeting a complaint or providing negative feedback, that number rises to 72%.
Meanwhile, on Facebook Pages, business owners can now track their own response times and see how well they are handling incoming messages and feedback from customers.
With real-time engagement on social media getting even realer - and the window for response time getting smaller - more and more brands and marketers have started focusing on improved response times as part of their social media strategy. They're positioning themselves to listen more closely and respond more quickly than ever - to tweets and mentions, tags and likes, hearts and comments.
But do consumers also expect your brand to respond to their online reviews and customer feedback on sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor?
And if so, how quickly do they expect to hear back from you?
Responses to online reviews and customer feedback are expected
According to research by online review management and customer feedback tool ReviewTrackers, customers absolutely expect brands to respond to their reviews, but the time frame's a little bit longer than when they reach out to brands on social media.
ReviewTrackers found that 52% of customers expect to hear back from brands within 7 days of giving an online review, particularly one that's negative or critical.
1 in 4 are more demanding, expecting a review response within 3 days, while 21% expect brands to have a response time of 24 hours or less.
While these numbers suggest that consumers are willing to wait a bit longer for brands to post responses on review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor, managing customer feedback on these sites is no less critical than dealing with what customers are saying on Facebook and Twitter.
Beyond recognizing that social media moves fast, your brand also needs to tune into the voice of your customers and pay attention as they look to other feedback channels to make themselves heard.
Leveraging reviews to drive social media engagement and performance
When considering the value of online reviews and publicly visible customer feedback, it's also worth noting the shelf life of the different forms of outreach. Compared to tweets and Facebook posts, reviews are likely to stay relevant for a longer period of time.
Shelf life of online reviews
- A Search Engine Land report shows that 69% of consumers believe that online reviews older than 3 months are no longer relevant. Additionally, 15% of respondents to the Search Engine Land study indicated that the only relevant reviews are the ones written within the last 2 weeks.
Shelf life of tweets
- Moz suggests that tweets probably have the life-span of a "short-lived fruit fly" - 18 minutes, to be exact. Another study, meanwhile, found that 92% of user engagement with tweets (impressions, clicks, and shares) occurs within the first 48 hours of posting.
Shelf life of Facebook posts
- According to social media analytics company Wiselytics, 75% of engagement on a Facebook post happens within the first 5 hours. The potential reach of posts on Facebook isn't so promising, either: 75% of the people who'll get to see a Facebook post will have seen it in the first 2 hours after posting.
With the shelf life of online reviews shown to be longer than that of tweets and Facebook posts, it makes sense for brands to maximize social media ROI by integrating review content and review responses into their strategy.
Even if your brand's more active on Twitter and Facebook than it is on Yelp and TripAdvisor, there are ways to leverage reviews in ways that drive social media engagement and boost performance.
On Twitter, for example, you can share screenshots of your best reviews, or you can share links with your community of fans and followers in order to facilitate the generation of new reviews. On Facebook, you can enable the Reviews feature so that your Facebook Page serves as a channel through which customers can publicly share their feedback - and your brand can quickly respond.
The rise of online reviews as one of today's most powerful forms of customer feedback provides another great example of how customers are having conversations about your brand, regardless of whether you like it or not. As you seek to implement or fine-tune your social media management and response strategy, make sure you also join the conversations happening on online review sites and other similar feedback channels.
Because if you're not quick to engage and respond, one of your competitors might be.