As we move into the second half of 2018, and past the GDPR deadline an area many businesses and organisations must have on their agenda is social customer service and more importantly how to improve it.
Regardless of your industry, customers expect live interaction at the touch of their fingertips thanks to smart devices and our ever increasing thirst for instant information through social media.
Many of you reading this will be using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. to generate new traffic and brand awareness for your businesses. However, a trend is occurring whereby brainless social media posting is producing wave after wave of the same self-promotional content. We have all seen Twitter users that generate nothing more than links to their websites or worse case another social media channel.
Where To Start?
Twitter users are spending their time on Twitter; they will be less likely (if at all) to click a link taking them to Facebook.
Having a proper social media process is vital in today’s marketing world.
Knowing when to post, what to post and how to craft your posts takes skill and time. Building a core following on social media is vital for any business looking to grow their brand and generate new business.
Growing your social media followers, looking after those who already are connected with you and understanding who they are is the first step to improving your social customer service.
We have all tweeted, messaged or commented on social channels and we’ve all waited far too long for a response. This is damaging to those businesses and has a negative impact publicly. It can be resolved very quickly and will improve your customer service success almost instantly.
These factors, of course, being incredibly good both for business and any future marketing activities.
Customer service is an expensive area for any business. Social Media allows your customers to ask questions 24/7; it is without fail, vital to interact on time and provide the information they require.
Initially allow yourself 15–30 minutes per day to review your social media channels. Look at activity including new followers, comments, @mentions, shares etc. If someone has commented or mentioned you, reply. If you have received a few likes or shares on a post, thank those people by mentioning them in the comments section. These small actions will make a massive difference to how your channels are perceived.
More users will interact with you because they can see that your human and not just another faceless social media account.
Once a week review your social media posts. Look at which ones had the best interaction and engagement. Make a note of the best times of day and which demographics were most active.
Review your competitor’s social media channels. When do they post? How busy are they? Try to understand what it is your customers are following you on social media for? Is it promotions / special offers, behind the scenes information, personality, breaking news, competitions etc.
This tweet by Team Sky is a great example of driving brand engagement, whilst highlighting the devastating environmental issue that is single use plastics and the harm they do to our oceans.
Formulate a strategy moving forward. Produce a set of goals both short and long term that you can work towards. Create to-do lists of actions (daily, weekly and monthly). Social media is a great sales weapon if used correctly.
Overusing it to just direct customers to products or services WILL NEVER WORK. Using it to build trust and interaction will grow your brand socially.
Asking questions is one of the best ways to drive interaction on a social media post. If you have an active brand on social media with a good following of active users, your sales will naturally grow without ever having to force it upon anyone.
Take a look at how Le Tour is driving engagement with its followers on Twitter with a simple video and hashtag that starts engagement.
On Demand Social
Followers are a very useful currency to have for any brand, big or small. You should be prepared to nurture and grow your followers efficiently. Various social media channels allow for automated message responders for out of office hours. Using these can help direct a user to a preferred contact method, i.e. phone or email. They are not a full time solution though.
However, if you can give them the information they want before they need it you are already one step ahead.
FIFA are doing a great job at this by providing on demand information through Twitter updates for the World Cup so far. Something as simple as posting an image of the teams formations before kick off has been working very well at giving conversations including hashtags momentum. Useful information at their followers fingertips, this in a nutshell is what social media is all about. Instant value.
Use built-in scheduling to your advantage and plan your content ahead as much as possible.
Social media is as easy or complicated as you wish to make it. Used correctly it will be the most powerful marketing tool your business can use daily.