“Call out culture”: top 3 reasons consumers call out brands

In today’s highly connected, "call out culture" world, social media and mobile devices have changed the way consumers interact with brands online.

Social media has long been a double edged sword for brands and communication professionals. On the one hand, it allows brands to connect with consumers like never before, but on the other it has created a platform where anyone can say anything, positive or negative about a brand for the whole world to see.

Today, the future success of any brand is decided not only by who they are and what they offer, but also the feedback they receive and how they respond.

A survey by Sprout Social highlighted the “call-out culture” that social media has created, identifying that almost half of the consumers surveyed revealed they’ve used social media to call out brands.

The top 3 reasons consumers are likely to call out brands on social media:
  1. Dishonesty: when a consumer feels a brand has mislead or lied to them
  2. Bad customer service: when the customer experience journey is not to the standard the consumer believed they should have experienced
  3. Rudeness: if a consumer has experienced rudeness from a brand in person (e.g. a rude shop assistant in a store) they are more likely to vent and call out the store online

For brands, it is critical to understand the importance of the response when you are faced with this situation. A poor response is often just as bad as no response in the eyes of the consumer. If a brand responds poorly to complaints online, they are more likely to experience boycotts and forms of online shaming.

To respond well, brands must be genuine. Social media has the power to make your brand appear far more personable and allow consumers to build a relationship with your brand. When a brand responds well, consumers are likely to want to share their win and push to redeem the brand’s reputation.

Having a well thought out social media reputation management strategy in place is pivotal in this digital age for all brands.