Retailers outpaced on social media by customers

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The average customer engages online 15 times more than shopkeepers.

Retailers in the UK and US are lagging behind their customers in the use of social media a study by digital consultancy Brandwatch has found.

A study of 60 retail brands on both sides of the Atlantic found that an average consumers posts to sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram around 15 times more often than retailers.

Retailers will normally respond to a direct message sent via social media, or when they are tagged in, but they are passive when it comes to spotting untagged opinions and debates.

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"These results suggest that brands are not adequately listening and responding to their audiences," the study concludes.

Just under half of direct mentions with the retail brand tagged were responded to. "Unsurprisingly, brands are far more likely to respond to direct queries (64.6 per cent) than neutral mentions (28.8 per cent). However, brands only engaged with untagged complaints 1.9 per cent of the time; a large majority of the brands neglecting these conversations altogether.

"These results definitely indicate that even leading retail businesses are missing opportunities to engage and build support among their online communities," Brandwatch says.

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