Call-out culture is a growing phenomenon around the world, with consumers more likely now than ever to complain about a brand, and make sure that it’s made public for the world to see.

This is all made possible with the powerful platforms of social media, providing consumers with an easy and semi-anonymous method of showing their less tolerable sides to poor customer service.

The biggest mistake brands make on social media is creating an account without any intention of managing it. By doing that, they’re essentially creating a public platform for consumers to complain, while creating the visage that they have a blatant disregard for their concerns.

But it isn’t all bad news for those brands out there who might be suffering from call-out culture. It’s been shown that a good response to a complaint on social media actually impacts the brand more positively than getting a good social media review in the first place!

Sprout Social conducted a 2017 survey of over 1000 consumers to find out just how call-out culture affects people and businesses, which we turned into an infographic:


  • Boycott brand – 50%
  • Share with online network – 41%
  • Ignore and move on – 13%

Consumers reaction if a brand ignores their social media complaint:

  • Boycott brand – 35%
  • Share with online network – 31%
  • Ignore and move on – 20%
  • 46% of consumers have used social media to publicly “call out” a business
  • Only 8% of consumers said they would stay silent in the event of poor service from a company

Most popular channels for complaining about a brand:

  • Social Media – 47%
  • Email – 42%
  • Phone – 35%

What people want to achieve through calling out brands on social media:

  • Spread the word amongst consumers – 70%
  • An apology and solution from the brand – 55%
  • A refund – 38%

About 60% of medium to large businesses don’t manage the complaints on their social media accounts.

Amount of time consumers expect a social media response in:

  • Less than 0-1 hours – 42%
  • 1-24 hours – 25%
  • Over 24 hours – 33%


About Anika

Anika is our digital marketing creative and social media guru, with a passion for everything design and user experience optimisation. She's passionate about strategising new campaigns and utilising her knowledge of the psychology behind the consumer’s journey.

Outside the office she spends most of her time outdoors or trying to be the ultimate master chef.

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