4 CS Social Media Tips That Will Grow Your Brand
Customer centricity is a term that sounds nice in a mission statement or “Our Story” page of your company’s website, yet few are willing to deliver it from an omnichannel perspective. You might have a great sales model or customer service strategy, but how is it related with the digital marketing team or the social media managers? Social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are increasingly becoming a way brands can deliver customer service and differentiate themselves from competitors through the omnichannel experience.
Knowing the consumer behavior of your target market is one of the first steps in developing a social media strategy that delivers customer service and generates positive brand reputation.
If you’re targeting Gen Z consumers, for example, you should know that they prefer streams over cable television, are more likely to purchase products based on emotions rather than rationality, and use Instagram and YouTube more than any other social media platform. Leveraging consumer behavior demographics and interests like these are a great place to start when expanding your social media campaigns.
You don’t need to be on every social media platform. You just have to be on the right one(s)
The airline industry has been in the news recently for intolerable customers becoming hostile with cs agents over low quality experiences. The hostility typically spills over into certain channels. By identifying preferred channels, the brand can more productively engage with angry customers -- and even win back their trust.
KLM Airlines, for example, has run a wide variety of surveys in order to see where most of its customers spend time on social media. Concluding that the majority of its consumers were professionals most active on LinkedIn, KLM deployed ad campaigns to target them and online customer service agents who could resolve complex issues. By communicating with customers in their preferred environment, KLMeliminated the hassle of unnecessary customer support lines, spam emails, and never-ending agent transfers.
Why wait in a line or talk to a glitchy voice bot when you can chat a real customer service agent?
Look for the hidden mentions
Research shows that when it comes to Twitter, the most popular social media platform for direct customer complaints, only 3% of brand mentions actually use the company’s Twitter handle. Instead, they usually use the company or product name as their method of public complaint. (i.e. “screw Wendy’s” vs “screw @Wendys”… by the way, I highly recommend not getting confrontational with the Wendy’s brand).
And even if customers do attempt to tag your handle, they may spell it wrong. As a result, a lot of social media marketers and PR experts who only monitor their direct mentions may have a false impression of their brand’s reputation.
Once you recognize this factor, the solution is fairly easy and inexpensive to control and can even serve as a competitive advantage for your brand reputation. Put simply, utilize more search features of your existing social media management software like Hootsuite, Oktopost, or Sprout Social to search for your business and product names (not just your handles and hashtags), as well as commonly misspelled versions of your handles and hashtags.
Speed (or lack thereof) kills
42% of social media users who contacted a brand expect a response within 60 minutes, and 32% expect a response within half that time. Social media, as a means of collaborative communication, was predicated on the concept of live feeds, and thus, fast-paced response times. From a reply rate perspective, DMs, tweets, and comments are becoming increasingly similar to text messages versus a professionally accepted 24-hour email reply rate.
Call it intrusive but that’s the nature of digital customer service… instantaneous availability. In other words, in today’s era of customer centricity, leaving a social media comment or DM unaddressed for a long period of time is like letting the phone ring.
Cater your brand voice to the customer’s
This trick is a hidden gem and not many company’s social media strategies utilize it. If you want to know how to appeal to each individual inquiry via social media, take a look at @JetBlue. Personalized customer centricity doesn’t just apply to client-facing sales reps and CS agents. It applies to every point of engagement that a potential customer experiences with your brand (including ads, chat, phone, word of mouth, social media engagement, etc.).
Think of questions like what kind of punctuation are they using or emotions are they displaying? When your customer or follower uses excited punctuation or emojis, mimic that behavior to let them know you are on the same page. Does the customer sound like they may not be 100% fluid in your language? If so, turn up the clarification and turn down the slang. Are they frustrated? Break out the controller mentality and consider bringing the issue offline. Are they exhibiting positive humor? Match it to give your brand a personality.
You can learn a thing or two from a historic, yet meaningful, JetBlue twitter interaction when a customer inappropriately tweeted at them after a positive customer experience, stating “I want to make love to the @JetBlue terminal,” to which JetBlue replied “Goodness, I hope you at least buy the terminal dinner first.”