Infographic: Social listening is a catch-22 for brands

Apparently, consumers expect brands to be mind-readers when it comes to knowing when to respond to conversations on social media. What’s a brand to do? Here’s some advice.

If your company is still setting goals and priorities for 2013, add “become telepathic” to your to-do list.

It will come in handy when you’re trying to determine whether to respond to customers’ conversations on social media.

When it comes to social listening, companies are caught in a catch-22, an infographic from NetBase and J.D. Power and Associates says.

Some consumers want brands to stay far away from their online conversations:

  • Forty-three percent of consumers think brands who listen to conversations on social media are invading their privacy.
  • Half of all consumers (51 percent) want to talk about companies on social media without them listening in.

But other consumers are OK with brands listening in certain situations:

  • Forty-two percent of consumers expect companies to respond to positive comments.
  • Fifty-eight percent want companies to respond to complaints.
  • Sixty-four percent only want companies to respond when spoken to.

Consumers seem to expect brands to read their minds.

So, where does this leave brands—other than between a rock and a hard place?

There are a few things companies can do to try to please everyone. When listening to customer conversations online:

  • Don’t just listen to conversations; understand them.
  • Consider the context of the posts.
  • Engage with the intention of delivering value to both the company and the customer.
  • Demonstrate that listening doesn’t intrude on customers, but builds relationships with them.

Take a look at the graphic for more:

(View a larger image.)

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