NM Incite reported that nearly half of consumers expect brands to provide customer service through social media.

A report from NM Incite, in conjunction with Nielsen and McKinsey, found that 47 percent of social media users expect brands to provide customer service on Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms.

Developing an effective strategy for managing and addressing social feedback helps marketers satisfy their customers more efficiently than other channels. While many consumers prefer to reach out to brands through email or on the telephone, 30 percent said social is their first choice when asking questions or voicing complaints. Fifty-one percent seek customer service on social media at least once every month, and 10 percent do so every day.

It can be difficult to keep up with all social engagement, but NM Incite’s data suggests it’s a competitive necessity. Seventy-one percent of consumers said positive social responses from companies increase their likelihood of recommending a brand to friends and followers.

“Today’s customers choose when and where they voice their questions, issues and complaints,” Gadi BenMark, senior vice president of NM Incite’s advisory division, said in a release. “They don’t care if a company is set up to answer customer questions on Facebook, or if it has an actual Twitter handle for customer service.”

Brands struggle to satisfy demands of their fans and followers despite increased customer service-related engagement on their social media marketing presences. Earlier this year, Brafton highlighted a report from Social Bakers that found most companies ignore more than half of all complaints coming from social networks.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.