There are two ways that small and medium-sized businesses can use social media. In the first approach, business owners can treat social media platforms like a megaphone, blasting out important information and updates to their fanbases. This is how most businesses use social media, and even the most successful small retailers treat their social media platforms as one-way channels to share information.

However, there is another way to use social media, and in the long run, it can be a smart approach. Rather than using social media as a platform just for sharing information, smart business owners use social media as a place to build community and foster customer loyalty.

Instead of using social media strictly to spread information, businesses that interact with their potential customers on social usually see much more successes from the medium. On Twitter and Facebook especially, interacting with fans and replying to customers questions can foster loyalty and create a branding relationship that is a great thing for small and medium retailers.

Yet despite all of these benefits of using social media as a two-way medium for conversation, a recent study from Sprout Social found that on average, retailers were ignoring 80% of customer interactions. Customer requests, including messages, comments, and tweet mentions, were only responded to about 20% of the time by retailers, and curiously this number didn’t spike at all during the holiday season.

The second part of that statistic is particularly damning since small and medium-sized retailers should be doing absolutely everything they can to compete during the holiday season. The fact that retailers are ignoring 80% of customer requests means that only one in five chances to potentially create a paying relationship is being seized. Every time that you interact with a fan or follower on social media, your interaction could translate into profits. And when retailers ignore those potential interactions, especially during the holidays, it shows a lack of competitive edge.

That being said, it is understandably hard for small and medium-sized businesses to keep with every potential interaction on social media. The social world moves fast, and there are a lot of other things to worry about as a retailer during the holiday season.

Luckily, tech solutions are here to help small and medium-sized businesses keep up with the demands of social technology. If you don’t want to fall into the guilty statistic of that 80% of retailers that ignore social signals, consider getting some help. Get in touch to find out how Grow Digital Marketing can help you make sure you aren’t missing out on potential customers on social!