Brand owners and marketers are not the only ones that realise the impact of social media on brand reputation. Consumers are also well aware of the effect their interaction with a company might have on other Internet users, as customer service has become a lot more transparent on social networking sites.
While in the past consumers had to turn to a call centre to voice their complaints and what happened during the conversation remained a private affair, social media platforms have brought the brand-consumer interaction into full view and many consumers are willing to take advantage of this fact.
According to a new survey from public relations agency Fishburn Hedges and Echo Research, the number of Britons who have been engaged in an interaction with a brand on social sites has doubled over the past eight months. More than one in three respondents make contact with companies on Facebook or Twitter every day, while two-thirds have interacted at least once.
What consumers find most attractive about voicing their opinion online is that the response is immediate, as the public pressure does not allow brands to ignore complaints or queries. While 65% of those polled agree that social media networks are a suitable channel to interact with brands, only 7% share the opposite view and prefer to stick to call centres.
Overall, two in five believe that social networks have had a positive impact on customer service, compared to 7% who think that social platforms can tip the balance the other way.