Everyone knows that social media is of vital importance for marketing in today’s society. Whether you are a solo entrepreneur with many hats to wear or the CEO of a multi-million dollar company, social media is a huge part of any successful strategy.
However, even among those who get everything right when it comes to posting on social platforms – there is one key component that far too many forget: Customer Care!
I’ve partnered with the amazing Anthony Scialis to provide you with a short series on Social Media Customer Care. We will be holding a Cross Blog Conversation over the next few weeks, in which we will discuss the importance of customer care and some of its challenges.
To read Anthony’s part of the conversation, scoot on over to his blog at https://amssvs.com/
It’s right there in the title…
You need to be social with your fans and followers.
The need to provide your customers with social care is not a new one, but unfortunately it’s often easier said than done. Half of today’s consumers expect brands to be able to provide quality customer care via their social media platforms, and as much as one third say they would rather talk to a company over Facebook than over the phone.
Regularly scheduled, quality posts are no longer enough…you need to be available to provide customer service as well. I believe there are three main components to using social media like a true customer care rock star.
- FIND THEM WHERE THEY ARE
Your first step is to find out where your customers (and target audience) hang out. You can have the best customer support team ready and waiting to respond to any tweet or mentions of your company on Twitter, but it won’t do you much good if all of your customers are on Facebook.
Facebook and Twitter are the two main areas where most brands will find their customers, but don’t forget to check other platforms, as well. Instagram is a very close third, as it currently boasts over 300 million active monthly users. Other important platforms to check are LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.
Your social media campaign strategy should take into account where your customers hang out and incorporate strategies for getting those customers interested in interacting with your brand. This should include reaching out to include yourself in conversations that are relevant to those in your particular niche and provide value to participants.
- TAKE FEEDBACK TO HEART
Now that you’ve found some feedback about your brand scattered across the interwebs, it’s extremely important that you actually pay attention to what your audience has to say. If multiple customers are leaving the same complaints about your products, it’s likely there is an issue that you need to address immediately. Likewise, if you are getting rave reviews about the customer experience provided by one of your employees, be sure to give them recognition and highlight what they are doing right so others can improve.
- BE AVAILABLE & RESPONSIVE
An Oracle survey in 2012 highlighted user expectations of company pages on social media. They found that:
- 43% Expected Companies to Respond Directly to Their Questions
- 31% Expected to Have a Direct Line of Access To a Customer Service Representative
Four years later, these expectations have only grown more popular, and it is now a common expectation that a brand will respond to questions asked on social media within 24 hours.
What does this mean for your brand?
To put it simply, it means that you need to be available to provide customer care via social media, and you need to do it now. Every unanswered question, ignored complaint, or unaddressed negative review is a huge red flag to your potential customers. So much so that 88% of consumers say they would be less likely to buy from a company that has questions hanging about unanswered on social media.
Be Available. Be Courteous. Be Awesome.
What are your thoughts on this?
Do you have any important points to add that I may have missed?
What do you think companies can do to help them keep track of their social media customer care so that important contacts don’t fall through the cracks?