Joe Meloni

A report from Martiz Research suggests that consumers are changing their habits in terms of reaching out to companies to provide feedback, moving away from phone calls and letter writing. According to the study, 52 percent of respondents said their preferred method of contact is email, while 31 percent said they would rather make a phone call.

Preference aside, 29 percent said they have used Facebook to reach out to a business, and 8 percent said they’d tweeted a complaint or compliment. Just 8 percent said they prefer using Facebook to address businesses, and 1 percent named Twitter as the platform they to reach out to brands.

Among other social networks included in the study were LinkedIn and Google+, which garnered minimal use as a tool for expressing complaints or other feedbacks. In fact, none of the consumers polled said they enjoy using LinkedIn in this manner, and 1 percent reported Google+ was their top choice for speaking to companies.

Social media marketing campaigns have myriad uses for businesses. While sharing content on these sites can help marketers drive traffic to pages likely to boost conversions, many neglect the customer service angle that the channel can provide.

Even with just 1 percent of respondents naming Twitter as their favorite platform for corresponding with businesses, the microblogging site’s role in customer service continues to grow. Among younger demographics, the site is slightly more popular in terms of engaging a businesses. Moreover, Facebook’s popularity as the top avenue for feedback swells to 28 percent for the 18 to 24 age group and 13 percent for the 25 to 34 age group. However, email remains the top choice among all demographics, Martiz found.

While email may be the preferred method currently, companies often find social leads to the most engagement and potential conversion opportunities.

Social media, more than other channels included in the survey, provides an element of data collection that can prove invaluable to marketers. According to Martiz, 59 percent of consumers believe businesses use content posted on the web, especially on social networks, to gauge the overall satisfaction with their products and services. Additionally, 38 percent of respondents said they believe companies use social networks to help dissatisfied customers. As such, they’re increasingly likely to share feedback on these platforms – and marketers should be prepared to engage clients through social media.

Brafton recently reported that prospects and existing customers expect businesses to provide answers to their service questions or comments on Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms. Despite this expectation, more than half of all customer service-related engagement goes unanswered by businesses.