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Twitter is quickly becoming a popular customer service method for many top brands, a new study finds.

Research from social media analytics firm Simply Measured shows that 30% of the of the companies in the Interbrand 100 — which ranks businesses based on financial status, how the brand influences purchasing decisions and how strong the brand is — now have dedicated customer service handles on Twitter as a way to divert negative attention and activity away from their primary brand account.

The study found the 30 brands with a separate customer service Twitter feeds have received more than 198,000 inbound tweets in the last quarter, and sent out more than 82,000 support responses.

Among top brands that have adopted a customer service handle, Ford and Nike top the list, replying to more than 70% of inbound tweets.

In addition, the research shows that Microsoft is the only brand that regularly responds to customer issues in under an hour. While not as fast, UPS and American Express also had relatively quick response times. The average response time among all top brands is just over five hours.

Overall, the study discovered that requests for customer support on social networks increased by 25% over the last three months, which prompted top brands to increase their activity by 33%.

"With more and more consumers using Twitter to get help and make decisions, it’s important for brands to maintain an open communication channel and measure their customer service efficacy," said Adam Schoenfeld, CEO of Simply Measured. "Top companies are paying attention to that and investing to respond and support their customers on Twitter."

This article originally published at BusinessNewsDaily here

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