B2C and US-based companies lead the way
B2B companies lag behind their B2C counterparts when it comes to using social media to track what customers are saying about their brands and following up on that feedback.
In January 2012, customer experience management software companySatmetrix surveyed over 1,000 B2B and B2C companies worldwide and found that more than half of B2C companies (53%) both tracked mentions and followed up on them, while an additional 25% only tracked and 4% only followed up. This is compared to only 27% of B2B companies that both tracked mentions and followed up on them. Almost half of B2B companies (47%) did not track or follow up on brand mentions on social media.
Of those companies that have a system in place for tracking and following up, Satmetrix found that the most popular process companies used was having a dedicated team that monitored and responded to customer feedback. In North America, 48% of these companies had a team place, while 49% of companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa had the same.
Looking at the differences worldwide, US-based companies were more likely to use social media to track mentions and follow up, with 46% of US companies and 45% of North American companies saying they did both. In Asia, the percentage of companies was lower, at 39%, and in both Latin America and Australia/New Zealand it was 34%.
Consumers are discussing companies online, offering advice and even criticizing brands, whether or not these brands are active in the social space. In 2011, TNS found that 64% of consumers worldwide wrote about brands online in order to offer advice, and 52% said they did so to criticize a brand. Companies should have processes and tools in place to track what is being said, and a system for following up on comments when it is appropriate.