Brands Shouldn’t Ignore Twitter Complaints

Don't let your customers talk to the hand. Listen to your brand mentions.

I know what they say about anecdotal research, but recent findings by Maritz Research confirm my personal experience as a Twitter user and community manager. If people take the time to complain about a brand on twitter, they expect a response. Further, ANY type of response is usually better than nothing.

Takeaways? Monitor mentions of your brand using simple tools like Tweetdeck. Take a few minutes each day to respond, especially to negative comments. (Of course it’s nice to respond to positive feedback too!)

Resarch Summary

Maritz Research surveyed an online panel of 1,298 US consumers at least 18 years of age pre-identified as:

  • Twitter users who frequently tweet
  • Those who have used Twitter to complain about a specific product, service, brand or company


  • Nearly half of respondents expected the company to read their Tweet
  • Nearly 1/3 of respondents received a response from the company about their Twitter complaint

Of those who received follow-up:

  • 83% said they liked or loved hearing from the company
  • Only 4% didn’t like or hated hearing from the company
  • 63% would not like it or hate it if the company contacted them about something other than their complaint tweet

Read the full summary.


Twitter: Waste of Time or Revolutionary Communication Tool?

Twitter. A waste of time or revolutionary communication tool?
Are all those tweets a colossal waste of time?

Two recent headlines caught me eye: Is Twitter a Waste of Time? (via Problogger) and Twitter Surpasses 200 Million Tweets Per Day (via Mashable).

What a dichotomy! The microblog lends itself so readily to volume, I guess it’s no revelation that more doesn’t necessarily equal better. I think it all depends on HOW you use it, just like anything else.

Waste of Time?

The biggest case for time waster: 40% of tweets are fragments of conversation. Very true. I often get interested in a twitter exchange, then have to back track to get the whole conversation.

Tweetdeck (with all it’s flaws) is my favorite Twitter time-saving/organizational tool that solves this problem. I can follow accounts with one click. Absolutely love it (well, except for the ipad version, it’s too slow).


The biggest case for revolutionary: hashtags. The lowly pound sign has been elevated to celebrity status. Tweetdeck to the rescue! It comes set up with a column showing trending topics/hashtags and also lets you follow hashtags with one click. But now that hashtags are mainstream, following last week’s Casey Anthony’s #notguilty verdict and the swan song for NASA’s #Atlantis launch, the columns were literally a blur. So I had to move to Twitter Web Access in order to make any sense of the conversations. Hopefully Tweetdeck is working on a manual throttle solution. Otherwise, hashtags are going to become useless.

Other interesting factoids from the Problogger research/infographic:

How we use twitter:

  • Learn about products/services 42%
  • Provide opinions about products/services 41%
  • Ask for opinions about products/services 31%
  • Seek customer support 19%

How you should use twitter:

  • Widen your network
  • Learn stuff
  • Showcase your stuff

I would add “Breaking News” to the list. Twitter works for me, how about you?

Lisa DuBois Low is co-founder of SmartGirlsDigital and writes for the company blog, where this article originally ran. Follow SmartGirlsDigital on Twitter @SmartGirls2 and like us on Facebook.