A Q1 2014 study by Converseon analyzed direct user interactions with 20 leading global brands and found that 55% of those that took place on Twitter were positive in nature, with an additional 25% neutral. On Facebook, 49% of interactions were positive, with Google+ falling in the middle.
On all three social networks studied, interactions were more likely to be neutral than negative—and overwhelmingly likely not to be negative. At most, one-fifth of all such interactions went badly.
Brands may have caught on to the fact that social media tends to be more positive than not. When Wildfire and Advertising Age asked US marketers in July 2013 about their concerns about social media marketing, “damage to my brand from negative postings” ranked dead last—though marketers still rated it a 6.4 on a scale from 1 to 10.
Perhaps impressively, high levels of positive posts come even when nearly half of US marketing professionals are still missing a strategy for dealing with negative buzz, according to research from Social Media Marketing University (SMMU).
The same SMMU study also looked for the top source of such negative buzz, and it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to marketers: Complaints about products and services comprised an outright majority of such social postings. Negativity from former employees, as a direct response to social content or from competitors were other top sources of trouble for brands on social media.