Most people expect brands to respond to comments on social media within 24 hours, according to a new survey from B2B ratings and reviews firm Clutch. The research finds that a whopping 83 percent of consumers expect companies to respond to social media comments within a day or less.

“I see [social media] as a way where brands can speak directly to their consumers,” said Matt Kovacs, president of Blaze PR, in a news release. “That’s where people expect the world to rotate.”

Consumers expect businesses to keep up in an age of instant communication

Although people expect a quick response, they don’t necessarily expect an immediate fix. “It’s not like we’re telling people, ‘You have to fix this immediately within a day or less or an hour or less,’” said Laura Reagen, CEO of Activate Health, in the release. “But the company’s response has to make people feel like they’ve been heard.”

Consumers now expect brands to respond to social media comments within hours 

Millennials expect faster responses than older generations

Millennials grew up with social media and therefore have higher expectations of brands on social media. Ninety percent of this demographic expect brands to respond to comments on social media within a day or less—and 44 percent expect brands to respond within an hour or less.

“With living and growing up in a digital world comes instant gratification, expression, and responses,” said Jason Sherman, founder and CEO of SHERMAN Communications and Marketing, Inc., in the release. “When [millennials] take that mindset to the world as a consumer, it doesn’t really change.”

Consumers now expect brands to respond to social media comments within hours 

Responding to criticism online can elevate a company’s brand

It’s important for brands to engage with criticism online. Nearly half of people (45 percent) say they would view a brand more positively if it responded to negative comments on social media.

“Being able to show the way that your business responds in a crisis is actually helpful because customers get reassurance that if something goes wrong, your business will take care of them,” said Melina Palmer, a behavioral economist and founder of The Brainy Business, in the release.

Consumers now expect brands to respond to social media comments within hours 

Social media empowers both consumers and businesses

“There’s certainly an empowerment to the consumer to share feedback and express themselves when they’re unhappy,” said Sameer Somal, co-founder of Blue Ocean Global Technology, in then release. “But a business is also empowered with the same platform and the same opportunities.”

Businesses that use social media as part of their PR strategy can humanize their brand by authentically engaging with consumers.

“Acknowledging customers in a small sense transforms a relationship, at least for me,” said writer Melissa Meade, according to the release. “That tells me the company cares and is listening.”

Read the full report here.

Consumers now expect brands to respond to social media comments within hours 

Clutch’s 2018 Social Media PR Survey included 532 people in the U.S. who use social media at least once per week.

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Richard Carufel

Richard Carufel

Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders.

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