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In today’s digitally connected world, more and more internet users are turning to the internet to voice their opinions and frustrations with their favourite brands. The main platform for this is social media – from Facebook to Twitter, Instagram to even YouTube.

Most switched-on brands have a social listening process in place, to keep a watchful eye on what’s being said about the brand and the services. But how important is to be constantly involved in these conversations, on a real-time basis?

We’ve taken a look into this to show you just how crucial it is to the reputation and trustworthiness of your brand.

Customer expectations

Above all, one of the main reasons as to why real-time engagement is so crucial on social media is that your customers simply expect it. In fact, according to a survey conducted by Sprout Social, 70% of users and customers expect a response from brands on social, and 53% of people want that response within an hour of contacting them.

Consumers today are becoming more and more switched on digitally, and are expecting brands to be the same, especially when it comes to things like improving customer service.

Solving problems quickly and efficiently

Another important part of real-time, swift and efficient responses and engagement on social media is so that you can solve problems as quickly as possible. This is not only great for your customers and followers of course, but also for your brand’s reputation. This is important as social media is in the public realm, so anything anyone is saying about you (or anything you’re saying on there to your followers) will be available to anyone to see.

You’ll want everyone who views it to know that your customer service levels are good, and that you’re a trustworthy, reputable brand who cares about their customers.

Keeping a level of trust and authority

As briefly mentioned above, it’s the best way to show your followers and customers that you care about their needs, and that you care about the problems they’ve faced when using your brand. It’s also useful for showing that you’ve been engaging with your followers on a regular basis full stop, whether it was in response to something negative or positive. Consumers increasingly enjoying different kinds of engagement with brands, and it shows that they can rely on you to provide this, if you’re constantly active.

Positive and negative experiences are shared

In the world of social, it’s no surprise that people are very vocal. They’ll be quick to share their positive or negative experiences with their followers, and the best way to keep track of everything that is being said about you is to be engaging with your followers in real-time, so that you can respond accordingly quickly.