An article in eMarketer on 7/14/11, replete with its ubiquitous black and red graph, reveals the main reasons consumers engage and interact with each other regarding their favorite brands. There's also a second graph in the article which reveals a surprising number re: airlines, travelers and the use of social media.
A study, which was conducted by ROI Research (love that name by the way) revealed that, not surprisingly, the #1 issue consumers discuss with each other regarding their favorite brands in the social media space is price. Whether comparing prices or discussing the latest sales, price is at the top of the list of topics discussed. But, very close behind is providing feedback to the advertiser/brand/etc.
Also revealed in the study, which is not represented by the above graph, is which vertical markets draw the most criticism from consumers via social media. Respondents to the survey identified the following as those most-often complained about through the use of social networks:
- Household products
Conversely the following verticals scored lower in the "complain via social media" category"
- Sports-related brands
- Magazines & newspapers
- Alcoholic beverages
Another vertical/industry which scored low is the travel industry.
And a MarketTools survey showed that while many consumers have no problem sharing their travel travails, if you will, with each other via social media, not many - only 2% hence my aforementioned 'surprising number...' - are using social media to voice their displeasure with the offending airline, opting instead to lodge their complaint via the airlines' website or via email or phone call or even... aghast, actually writing a letter. Do people still write letters?
As the eMarketer astutely states "Both studies demonstrate that while collecting and responding to feedback over social networks may be a new phenomenon for brands, there is room for growth. Listening and responding to complaints on social media also offers brands a chance to connect with customers in an additional channel, and to potentially increase customer satisfaction."
I would just add to he last line (in bold) "...and to potentially increase customer satisfaction which leads to more sales!"