Fast Facts: Dishonesty’s social repercussions

A survey from Sprout Social shows customers see social as a means to keep companies accountable.

A new survey suggests that dishonesty and bad customer service are what drive most consumers turn to social media to vent their frustrations with a brand.

In developing its social media index product (which tracks behaviours on nearly 300,000 publicly available social media profiles), Sprout Social conducted an online survey of 1,003 North American consumers in July. It found that while in-person interaction was still the go-to method of voicing displeasure, social media was hot on its heels and driving broader customer actions beyond that first Facebook rant.

In total, 46% of those surveyed had used social media to “call out” a brand, and 81% said they feel social media has made businesses more accountable to their customers, often by pointing to unfair treatment of customers (as noted by 80% of respondents) or amplifying issues about brand actions (65%).