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How to Create a Social Media Response Matrix

Sarah Steimer

Customers expect instant gratification on social media. Design a response plan to communicate with them quickly and authentically.

Brands have become known for their social media personas. Denny’s and KFC are famous for their Twitter hijinks, and some consumers find it easier to engage with customer service on social platforms than over the phone or in person. How a brand communicates with its audience on social media is increasingly crucial, and many companies are proactively designing social media response plans, also known as social media response matrices.

A social media response matrix is a flow chart that directs an employee, such as a social media manager, on how to respond to comments on social media based on the nature of their content, according to Adam Kleinberg, CEO of interactive advertising agency Traction. “[A response matrix] is important for companies to have because it keeps you consistent, organized and accountable about how to act in various situations that are bound to take place online,” he says.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Interactions between brands and the audience happen too frequently for companies to engage socially without a plan. According to MarketingSherpa, 85% of U.S. consumers say they use social media, and 58% of consumers surveyed say they follow brands on social media. How a brand responds to consumers online makes a big difference: 71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others, according to referral marketing company Ambassador. In addition, companies that engage and respond to customer service requests via social media see those customers spending an average of 20% to 40% more with the company, according to Bain & Company.

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Sarah Steimer

Sarah Steimer is a staff writer for the AMA's magazines and e-newsletters. She may be reached at ssteimer@ama.org or on Twitter at @sarah_steimer.