Lose-Lose For Businesses Listening on Social Media

Social media has provided companies with the opportunity to gain invaluable insights into consumer discussions; But customer’s may not feel that this is a good thing for them. Brian Solis examines this in his article Are Businesses Invading Consumer Privacy By Listening to Social Media Conversations? . The information available in this article relates back to a study published  by NetBase and J.D. Power and Associates that looks at the feelings consumers have towards organisations listening in to their online conversations.

Quick Facts Found in this Study:

  • 32% of consumers using social media have no idea that brands are listening
  • Over half of consumers (51%) want to be able to talk about companies without them listening
  • 43% of consumers think listening to online conversations intrudes on privacy
  • 48% would allow companies to listen if the goal is to improve products
  • 58% believe that businesses should only respond to complaints in social media

When looking at these results I feel that organisations face a tricky dilemma. Consumers want organisations to listen in when it is right for them (when complaining or offering improvements) but do not want them involved when the conversation is candid or unsolicited. This is an unrealistic expecation to have of an organisation and is basically impossible to implement. I think it is important for organisations to remain present online as it allows for growth and improvement as well as  communication between company and customer. NetBase provides four guidelines to follow which I completely agree with:





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