Social media users ‘more demanding’ as consumers

Research shows that social media users are more demanding:1 in 5 consumers who complain to brands via Twitter or Facebook want a response within the hour.

New research from Lightspeed Research and the IAB revealed that consumers have much higher expectations of social media customer services compared to more traditional channels. The research found that a quarter of people who complain about brands through Twitter or Facebook expect a response within the hour, and around 6% within 10 minutes.

Conversely, 50% of consumers who made complaints via a brand’s own website were happy to receive a response within a day and 27% within 3 days.

The survey of over 1000 internet users, which examined the extent of ‘obsession’ with social media in the UK, also found that younger people are more likely to use social media platforms to bitch about brands. 15% of 18-34 year-olds have used an official Facebook page to complain about a brand, compared to just 5% of 35 – 54 year-olds.

Social addiction
The survey also show the genuine extent to which social media activity has taken over our daily lives – almost half (48%) of 18-34 year-olds login to social networking sites just before they go to bed, with over a quarter (27%) logging in as soon as they wake up. A further quarter of 18 -34 year olds sign in to social networks while they’re having lunch or dinner. In addition almost half (47%) of this age group have uploaded a picture of a meal they were eating to a social site.

Social media central to life occasions
Social media has also become a key part of sharing key life experiences. 76% of people had seen holiday snaps on a social network, while 65% had seen pictures of a wedding, 63% of a birthday and 23% of a christening. Interestingly, 3% of people had even seen pictures of a funeral on a friend’s social networking page.

Amy Kean, head of the IAB social media council said: “Social media has become such a part of our lives that people rarely even consider just how extreme their social behaviour has become – we log in as soon as we wake up, before we go to bed and even during mealtimes. Even this simple phenomenon offers a fantastic opportunity for brands, who should tap into the routine and habitual nature of social media activity to enhance consumers’ lives and become just as essential as the platforms they’re communicating on.”

Ralph Risk, Lightspeed Research Marketing Director EMEA commented “With social media now becoming a mainstay in people’s lives, it is important for companies to understand the motivations and expectations of their customers. While only a small proportion of people currently use social media channels to complain, the impact can be greater with more people witnessing the exchange. While this provides companies with a potential risk it also gives them a huge opportunity to highlight their excellent service, and the brands that embrace this successfully are likely to reap the rewards.”

For a full copy of the report visit