The Failure Of Social Media [Infographic]


The benefits of social media as a marketing or public relations tool should be obvious by now, yet many companies are failing to utilize it effectively. The primary benefit of social media is the ability to connect with consumers, to become more present in the consumer’s mind, but unfortunately many companies are treating it like any other kind of advertisement.

Ten years ago the only way to advertise was very one-sided. For example, a company could send out mailer, air a commercial on the T.V. or radio or pay for a billboard on the side of the road etc. In this mode of advertisement the consumer doesn’t have a chance to respond or give feedback.

With social media, however, a consumer, or potential consumer, can tweet, post a Facebook comment or “like” a post as soon as they see it. It is at this point that companies are failing. With many companies when a consumer tries to communicate back they are often ignored.

In a test it was shown that one in four top retailers never respond to questions on their Facebook wall and two out of five often deleted unanswered questions. Social media is a relatively new form of marketing and so there is no surprise that many companies are still struggling to adapt but, rest assured, it will be the companies that adapt the fastest that see the most success in the future.

The Infographic below has an interesting section on using Twitter as a medium for a complaint. Something I have had a successful result with.

failure of social media

This infographic was designed by PeopleClaim is an online alternative dispute resolution website allowing you to resolve your dispute with a company without having to go through expensive legal systems.

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    • Hi Paul,

      You make a very interesting point. And I tend to agree with you to a certain degree – the larger corporations probably don’t pay too much attention too it. However, I have had some luck with some smaller firms. A web host company I host some of my sites on here in the UK were very responsive once I vented my anger on Twitter about them…

      The problem was resolved within the hour.

      Thanks for dropping by.

  1. Big companies know that loads of complaints from individuals still won’t damage their profits, for example a company like McDonalds who have shops world wide can get thousands of complaints a day which would be nothing as they can do a thousand transactions in just one store a day.

    When people start to complain in an organised fashion companies then will sit up and respond. Now take the horse meat scandal at the moment. I am vegetarian and I am amazed at how many people are turning vegetarian after this issue, many supermarkets are suffering in sales and that is because this is not one complaint about a tasteless sausage here or a mouldy burger there. This is a common unionised kind of complaint across Europe, a common voice attacking on all fronts.

    Twitter and Facebook are great and I do believe smart companies should respond as it is great for their reputation and an excellent damage limitation practice. I would say companies choose who or what complaints they respond to, to save time and money on the perceived damage the complaint could make to their business.
    great infograph.
    Andi Leeman recently posted..Andy Ireland’s AI Tradesafe: There Is More Than One Way To Make Money OnlineMy Profile

    • Hi Andi,

      Yes I agree – the big corporate firms really don’t care. I wrote a post about the value of the customer the other month and this “old fashioned” type of customer service seems to be a dying technique used nowadays…


      Best Regards,

  2. Great post & infographic John!

    I think many companies still overlook the importance of social media and the impact that it can have. Ignoring the odd one or two complaint is understandable, but when you start to ignore the views and opinions of your customers, it can backfire on them.

    That said, I have had a couple of good experiences with customer service on social media. One particular instance that stands out was when I was having trouble with my internet connection (it kept dropping off). Anyway, I was moaning about it on Twitter to a friend of mine and happened to mention that I was with BT. BT saw my tweet and instantly replied and helped me out by referring me to someone that sorted out my problem.

    Hopefully that just shows that some companies can do social media right. Just a same that the vast majority don’t get it yet.
    Matt Smith recently posted..Are Facebook Groups Our Forgotten Friends?My Profile

    • Agreed – loads of the bigger companies still don’t get it.

      Funny story about your BT connection, I had a similar thing with my host. The whole problem was resolved thanks to twitter!

      Great to see you stop by.

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