Social media platforms are growing up. Channels that started off as repositories for ‘look at me’ broadcasting, aimed to appeal to a younger audience, now offer real-time conversations with your most engaged customers.
The most effective social media strategies are built around developing specific content for each individual channel. The overall goal is to reach the right people at the best time with the most insightful content.
But there is a further role for social media: demonstrating excellent customer service.
Social media gives customers an opportunity for a quick resolution of problems: some 81% of Twitter users now expect a same-day response to questions and complaints, according to a recent Oracle survey.
Social customer service can also give companies the best of both worlds: the ability to reach a wide network of customers while providing more personalized responses at the same time.
In order to achieve this, retailers and shopping centres need to listen carefully to social media streams, keep on track with customer opinion and be ready to inform followers about specific products and services that are being discussed or brought into question.
Listening or monitoring?
There’s often confusion around social media listening, a service that can be mixed up with social media monitoring. While they are somewhat similar and work best together, the two shouldn’t be used interchangeably.
Social media listening isn’t as simple as monitoring and replying to incoming questions and comments. It is the process of tracking conversations around a topic, phrase, industry or keywords and leveraging the insight to discover opportunities or create content for those audiences – to keep them engaged, turning clients and customers into brand advocates and ambassadors.
It’s more than merely watching @mentions and comments pour in via a social profile or blog. If you are only counting on the notifications, you are missing out on a vast number of clients and customers who are talking about your brand and your services.
Social media monitoring is a way of computing the popularity of a brand or company by extraction of information from social media channels such as blogs, news sites and video/ photo sharing on websites.
A quicker response
When companies are listening effectively, they can quickly respond to any customer requests and complaints. As many companies have learned the hard way, unanswered complaints can go viral, causing real damage to a company’s brand.
But the opposite can have a positive impact on your brand reputation. A powerful 71% of consumers receiving a quick brand response on social media would be likely to recommend that brand to others, compared to only 19% of customers who received no response.
Many larger corporations have invested in training and hiring extra resource to take care of social listening and customer service because it is crucial to retaining and creating an excellent customer service.
With smaller retail businesses or shopping centres with restrictions on headcount, many owners and managers are turning to agencies to provide this service for them. This works well as an outsourced service, freeing up the internal workforce to run the business, and relying on the agency to focus on social listening, respond to day to day queries and escalate anything that requires senior management input.
At OnBrand, we monitor your social media channels through your customers’ eyes. How they would prefer to engage with your brand, how easily they can find answers to their questions, and whether their overall customer journey has been a joined-up experience.
By taking their journey, we can make recommendations on how to simplify the process, build your brand reputation and improve overall customer engagement. Happy customers spend more and stay longer, so let’s make sure they are being heard.
OnBrand | Smart marketing using customer knowledge for Digital, Audio, Social and Events.