Companies lose sight of the bigger social media picture in a constant struggle for likes, followers and plus ones. Social pages are not landing pages designed for conversions or the equivalent of appealing store fronts. They represent an opportunity for businesses to personally connect with customers or potential customers. According to Helpscout.net, Eighty percent of U.S. consumers say they would pay more for superior customer service, take advantage of the customer service infrastructure that is social media and reap the benefits.
You May Think You’re Great, But Do Customers?
According to the Helpscout infographic, 80 percent of companies believe they deliver superior customer service, but only eight percent of customers think the same companies deliver superior service. Being ignorant to your company image on social media can be devastating to your bottom line. Bain & Company found that customers who have their issues responded to over social end up spending 20 to 40 percent more with that company. If you’re not responding to customers individually, set up updates that will answer the common problems. Use tools like Google Alerts and Mention to track the social conversation about your brand. Listen to your customers first and foremost when examining social media performance. Create surveys and polls to get a feel for how customers can be better served with social media.
Seize the Social Day
Social media provides the opportunity for real time interaction. In some cases, an opportunity arises for a completely above and beyond interaction. Angel Investor Peter Shankman jokingly asked via tweet that Morton’s Steakhouse meet him with a porterhouse in two hours when he landed in Newark, according to Buffer App. The steakhouse jumped on the chance and sent a worker 23 miles to greet Shankman with a full meal. This type of service can’t be duplicated often but serves as a tremendous marketing and branding opportunity.
The same can be done for non billionaire clientele. The Hurn family returned home after a stay at the Ritz-Carlton but found out their son had left Joshie the giraffe at the hotel. The Hurn parents contacted the hotel and eventually the stuffed toy was returned and much more. The hotel staff created an ID card for Joshie, and took pictures of him by the pool and at the spa. The story was documented via social and became a viral hit, fortifying the Ritz-Carlton image.
Apply these lessons to your business. Have a dedicated leader or team that manages social media and stays tuned for opportunities in the realms of marketing and customer service.
Practices for Success
A personal connection won’t happen by accident or randomly. There are some methods to achieving this that have been tried and true by the most social brands. Memorable customer experiences over social are not only remembered, they’re shared.
Engage: Don’t Promote – The age of constant promotion over social is long gone. Consumers don’t care to read additional ads in an ad cluttered world. Share relevant information over social channels instead. Great examples of this are LifeLock sharing insights to the Target security breach, or Delta’s support Twitter account, @DeltaAssist that can resolve some issues in seconds.
Dedicated Staff – Personal engagement is easier if certain people are assigned certain customer concerns. A simple signature or correlating picture will establish a sense of trust and care.
Update in time of Crisis – When Social Sharing Service Buffer was hacked in October 2013, the company had to apply their own advice about digital customer service. Buffer responded via Twitter 16 minutes after clients started posting concerns and spam. Customers were appreciative and the situation earned Buffer some positive press.
Be Timely – An Edison study revealed 42 percent of consumers expect a response on social media within one hour, and 32 percent think it should be within 30 minutes according to Buffer. Create a strategy so you can respond to inquires quickly or at least respond with an estimated time of resolution.
Use Tools – Keep your social media support organized by using sharing and analytic tools. Buffer allows for cross posting and post management across different networks. Single Platform synchronizes all business listings and allows for review tracking.
About Pepper Social Media
Pepper Social Media is an online marketing firm that specializes on social media management, content marketing, SEO, PPC, social media marketing, copywriting, and targeted blogging. Our creative team consists of experienced marketing strategists who can fortify your brand identity and amplify your reach.