If you're angry at a company for poor service and want results, forget email or a phone call. More than likely, your fastest way to get a response is through a social media post.
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram—the same methods that help frustrated fliers communicate quickly with airlines about missed flights or lost luggage —are becoming ways to not just vent, but to communicate and get results from other businesses.
"Just about every kind of company has customers using social media and ratings and review sites to interact, punish or praise those brands" digital marketing expert and author of "Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers,"Jay Baer told CNBC's "On the Money" recently.
Baer said actual tweets or Facebook posts that were legitimate calls for satisfaction compared to angry rants were "about 50/50. About half the time people contact businesses in social media, people expect a response. They are in fact using it as a replacement for the traditional telephone and email."
As it happens, customer expectations for a timely reply from Facebook or Twitter are fairly low.
According to Baer's research, customers expect a company response 91 percent of the time, compared to 89 percent of the time when a complaint is sent by phone or email. That drops to just 42 percent when the message is sent via social media. http://www.jaybaer.com/thehatrix/
Baer, however, said that lack of expectation is an opportunity for businesses.
"If you get a phone call or an email back, you're like, "'Eh, I expected that to happen,'" he said. "If you get a Tweet back, you're like, "'Wow, that was really terrific.'"
Baer added that by complaining and "not expecting a response and then you get one…has a huge impact."