Emma Siemasko

The proliferation of social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn into everyday life has increase brand visibility on the web also give friends, fans, partners and customers more opportunities to connect with their favorite companies. Many consumers are turning to social media sites to ask questions – sometimes they need support, but sometimes they’re just curious about a product or industry trend – and they’re getting answers.

According to new research from SocialbakersSocially Devoted, brands are answering more questions on Facebook than ever before. In Q4 of 2012, 55 percent of Facebook fan questions were fielded by brands, up from 48 percent in Q3 and 30 percent in Q2. Not only that, but the response time is faster – it now takes brands about 13.7 hours to respond on Facebook, when it used to take them 20.9 hours.

Socialbakers developed a list of brands that are “socially devoted” to define companies that pay attention to the needs, demands and requests of their clientele. In order to be socially devoted, brands must have an open wall on their Facebook Pages, respond to at least 65 percent of questions on Facebook and reply in a timely manner. According to Socialbakers, the airline, telecommunications and finance industries lead the way with customer service.

Brafton has reported that customers are more likely to continue to buy if they feel they are getting superior customer service. These consumers might even click away from a website if they aren’t well supported. Eighty-two percent reported that they want their questions answered online.