5 Quick Tips to Enhance Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
We’ve all seen disgruntled customers ranting about a product or service that didn’t quite meet their expectations. Luggage was lost as they made their way to a tropical vacation, their food had a hair in it, the Internet stopped working at a wildly inconvenient time.
Social media has made it easier than ever to communicate. It gives you the ability to listen and answer common questions—but, unfortunately, this means you may also have to respond to vocal, irritated users. Why should you listen to what your customers have to say about your business—whether positive or negative?
Without proper customer service, it only takes a few bad experiences to ruin a business’s reputation. Listening to customer feedback, both good and bad, will improve the overall customer experience. Apply these best practices to your social media customer service strategy to manage your reputation and deliver better support.
1. Listen to your fans.
It may seem obvious, but many brands ignore customer complaints on social media because they feel responding might give the complaint greater exposure. While this might be true, responding is what makes all the difference. As you draft a response, aim to validate their concern, take accountability, give a directive, and communicate a resolution. By publicly acknowledging your customers’ concerns and working to fix them, you can further improve the all-important consumer experience.
Takeaway: Listen to what your customers are saying—it gives you the ability to jump in when necessary to remedy situations that require it.
2. Add value when appropriate.
In order to provide stellar social media customer service, it’s important to know when, how, and where you can add value. Look for ways you can enhance your customers’ real-life experiences, solve their problems, and save them time. If a customer asks you about a product or service that you don’t provide, refer them to another company. This will increase trust as your customers will appreciate that you’ve gone the extra mile to accommodate them.
Takeaway: Building better relationships with your customers through transparent social support can work towards your favor when it comes to retention and increasing lifetime value.
3. Speed matters in social support.
According to J.D. Power, 67% of consumers have used a company’s social media site for customer service. And when they do reach out, they’re looking for a quick turn around. Research cited by Jay Baer tells us that 42% of consumers expect a response to their complaint or question within 60 minutes. Is your company prepared to handle social media complaints within the hour? It should be.
Takeaway: Quit lollygagging and respond in a timely manner. Even if you don’t have a resolution to the problem, ask for an email address and take the conversation offline.
4. Take things offline when necessary.
As we mentioned before, not everything can be resolved in under 60 minutes via social. While it’s important to listen and respond to your customers, some complaints need to be addressed in a more private manner. Instead of simply telling them to call this number or email this address, maintain the helpful, empathetic tone and emphasize that while you need to address their concern on a different channel, you’re going to make things right.
Takeaway: Taking a conversation offline will prevent things from escalating, and can also help the customer feel cared for because you’re working with him or her directly to solve the problem.
5. Personalize your communications.
We’ve all seen an automated message. It looks and feels robotic. Instead of copying and pasting the same response to every customer complaint, respond in a conversational tone and include the customer’s name in the response. This will help reassure customers that you’re taking the time to understand the issue at hand.
Takeaway: A little respect goes a long way. Address your customers by name, and send the message that you value their feedback.
Bonus Tip: Don’t forget about the happy guys!
Providing support is not just for the disgruntled customers. Monitoring engagement should be a part of your social media management strategy—even when the comments are positive. It’s important to pay attention to your brand advocates who regularly interact with your social profiles. If you want your fans to spread positive word-of-mouth regarding your business, you will need to acknowledge them when they reach out to you.
Enhance Your Social Media Marketing Strategy with Customer Service and Reputation Management
The way you interact with your customers can make or break your business and online reputation. In this day and age, everyone is connected and word (good or bad) spreads like wildfire. Whatever you do, make sure you’re listening. Whether that feedback is positive or negative, it’s invaluable information that can serve as a helpful tool when making strategic online marketing decisions for your business.
About the Author
Michaela Meehan is a Social Media Specialist at OMNI Online Solutions. Using her skills of creativity and writing, she creates social media and email marketing strategies for clients.