Skip to main content

Don't expect quick responses from retailers on social media, study says

retailers ignore customer social media 83 percent of messages
Image used with permission by copyright holder
It’s become common practice when you have a problem at a restaurant, need to change your cellphone service, or can’t figure out why your cable isn’t working, to contact the service provider or retailer through social media. A quick tweet or Facebook post to the company would seem to lead to more immediate responses and more efficient resolutions than the olden days of sitting on the phone or in a line at the store for hours. However, according to the Q4 Sprout Social Index, quicker service isn’t always what customers get when contacting businesses through social media.

In fact, according to the data, there’s a greater chance your message will be ignored rather than addressed. In September, 59 percent of retailers in the U.S. and U.K. had already launched holiday shopping campaigns. It’s during the holiday season when messages increase and customers need the most assistance from retailers. However, it is during the holiday shopping season that retailers are more likely to ignore customer questions and concerns.

Many shoppers don’t get a response at all, and 83 percent of social media messages are unanswered within 72 hours – not the kind of speedy response we expect online. Especially if you consider the old-school method of calling customer service. While often inconvenient and resulting in being passed from one representative to the next, resolution might take hours but never as many as 72.

Even after the holidays have passed and things slow down, customers send fewer messages, but out of 40 percent requiring a response, only 17 percent actually get one — which works out to about a one-in-six chance of getting assistance via social media.

Although it’s clear retailers are missing the mark on customer care through social media, they’ve increasingly become similar to those pesky spammers, sending out three times more promotion-related content through the year, than actual replies to customers.

It’s no secret that customers are happier and more inclined to stick with brands that build relationships with them, even online. According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs (also referenced in Sprout Social’s data), since 26 percent of customers with bad experiences post negative comments on social, it might be wise for brands to consider addressing more customer concerns and sending out fewer for promotional efforts.

Christina Majaski
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Christina has written for print and online publications since 2003. In her spare time, she wastes an exorbitant amount of…
How to make a GIF from a YouTube video
woman sitting and using laptop

Sometimes, whether you're chatting with friends or posting on social media, words just aren't enough -- you need a GIF to fully convey your feelings. If there's a moment from a YouTube video that you want to snip into a GIF, the good news is that you don't need complex software to so it. There are now a bunch of ways to make a GIF from a YouTube video right in your browser.

If you want to use desktop software like Photoshop to make a GIF, then you'll need to download the YouTube video first before you can start making a GIF. However, if you don't want to go through that bother then there are several ways you can make a GIF right in your browser, without the need to download anything. That's ideal if you're working with a low-specced laptop or on a phone, as all the processing to make the GIF is done in the cloud rather than on your machine. With these options you can make quick and fun GIFs from YouTube videos in just a few minutes.
Use GIFs.com for great customization
Step 1: Find the YouTube video that you want to turn into a GIF (perhaps a NASA archive?) and copy its URL.

Read more
I paid Meta to ‘verify’ me — here’s what actually happened
An Instagram profile on an iPhone.

In the fall of 2023 I decided to do a little experiment in the height of the “blue check” hysteria. Twitter had shifted from verifying accounts based (more or less) on merit or importance and instead would let users pay for a blue checkmark. That obviously went (and still goes) badly. Meanwhile, Meta opened its own verification service earlier in the year, called Meta Verified.

Mostly aimed at “creators,” Meta Verified costs $15 a month and helps you “establish your account authenticity and help[s] your community know it’s the real us with a verified badge." It also gives you “proactive account protection” to help fight impersonation by (in part) requiring you to use two-factor authentication. You’ll also get direct account support “from a real person,” and exclusive features like stickers and stars.

Read more
Here’s how to delete your YouTube account on any device
How to delete your YouTube account

Wanting to get out of the YouTube business? If you want to delete your YouTube account, all you need to do is go to your YouTube Studio page, go to the Advanced Settings, and follow the section that will guide you to permanently delete your account. If you need help with these steps, or want to do so on a platform that isn't your computer, you can follow the steps below.

Note that the following steps will delete your YouTube channel, not your associated Google account.

Read more