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.

TWITTER AND FACEBOOK LEAD THE PACK

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”

BRAND ENGAGEMENT AND RESPONSIVENESS

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