According to the Sprout Social Index, most brands ignore 7 in 8 messages on social media. “That‰Ûªs 7 in 8 social messages to brands going unanswered within 72 hours,” Andrew Caravella wrote in, “The Sprout Social Index: Most Brands Ignore 7 in 8 Messages on Social Media‰ÛÓDoes Yours?” Despite significant gains in the perception and value of social media, many brands remain unmoved in the quest to institute a fully functioning social communication strategy, says the Sprout report.

Social Customer Care is More Critical Than Ever

“Imagine if your customer service team answered only 1 in 8 emails right away, waited more than 3 days to get back with an answer or just flat out failed to pick up the phone 88% of the time. Unacceptable, right?” Andrew Caravella wrote for Sprout Social.

Social Trends: Shifts in Engagement

“Since the last Sprout Social Index, the volume of messages that people send to brands on social continues to rise. In fact, we calculated that there has been a 21% increase in messages to brands globally, compared to a 18% increase in the U.S. Increasing message volumes‰ÛÓa trend that has been consistent throughout every iteration of The Sprout Social Index‰ÛÓproves social media continues to assert itself as a primary customer communication channel.”

“Of all inbound messages, Sprout calculates that 4 in 10 of messages need a response from the brand. That means that customers aren‰Ûªt just mentioning a business; they are looking for that business to respond and interact with them on social. Similar to overall message volume, the raw number of messages needing a response has increased steadily for the past two years, more than doubling, up 110% since the last Sprout Social Index. This is your chance to strengthen your bond with your customers‰ÛÓand gain a competitive advantage in doing so,” Caravella wrote.

“To highlight this focus on publishing versus engagement, Sprout compared the average number of posts to the average number of replies. Currently, brands send 4 times as many posts as replies. This differential explains why many customer requests via social go unanswered. But listening provides enormous benefits. In fact, according to a report by Medallia, when certain Best Western properties started responding to more than 50% of their social reviews, they observed twice the occupancy rates as less-engaged properties.”

Solution: Make a Deeper Connection

“Engage with your customers at every level to establish a deeper emotional connection, using an authentic voice that shows you care about their concerns,” Caravella advised.

Make sure your clients are responding to customer service issues and help them engage with their online following with this AudienceSCAN data on Frequent Business Reviewers. 37.3% of adults said if they have a BAD experience with a product or store, they will usually share it using social media or by posting a negative review. Your clients need to respond to these kinds of posts immediately, or you can use this stat as a conversation opener to ask for their reputation-management business. But know this too: 40.8% said if they have a GOOD experience with a product or store, they will usually share it with friends using social media. 89% of this audience is on Facebook, so start there! But go for Instagram as well ‰ÛÒ Frequent Business Reviewers are 47% more likely than average to post and comment on Instagram.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports inåÊAdMall.