Social media channels are now one of the most important ways for businesses to connect with their customers. Whether you’re using paid ads to drive business to your website, or you are building up an organic following – or both – it’s important that you know how to build great relationships with your customers. That’s why many companies choose to bring in experienced social media help – business and customer focused.
Why this matters
Social media can be great for your business. It gets your brand in front of a wide audience, it allows you to target your message to buyers and it can help to raise your profile ahead of the competition. However, good social media marketing management is about more than putting out nice posts – you have to be prepared to deal with queries, complaints and even bad-mouthing. How you deal with comments, questions and messages will have a direct – and instant – impact on how people feel about your brand.
That’s why it’s important to have a clear process for responding to people on social media. Online customer relationship management is one of the things that can define your brand – we all have examples of brands who do things well and brands who do things badly. You want to be one of the good ones, and here’s how you can do it – and why it will help your business succeed.
Speedy response – customers expect a quick response on social media, so make sure you have your notifications switched on. That will tell you when someone has commented or messaged, and you can take a look and respond. If the query is complicated or you need to go away and find an answer, always respond to your customer to tell them that’s what you’re doing and that you’ll come back to them with the answer as quickly as possible.
Be personal – the best social media marketing and management specialists understand that this is all about building relationships. So use people’s names and be friendly and approachable in your language. Think about how your messages reflect your brand.
Take responses to direct messages – rather than having a conversation online that everyone can see, suggest to your customer that you have a conversation via direct message. It feels more personal, and it allows you to sort out the issue or respond to the question personally and without other people chipping in. You may even choose to ask for a phone number to resolve things in person.
Be happy to apologise – sometimes, ‘sorry’ is all that a customer wants. They don’t need justification, just acknowledgement. And yet it’s surprising how few companies are prepared just to apologise. Swallow your pride and acknowledge when something has gone wrong or hasn’t met expectations – and offer a solution if you can.
Be consistent – one of the things that customers moan about most is that they have to resort to social media in order to get a response or a result. In fact, your reputation will be positively affected by a consistent approach, so whether your customer gets in touch by letter, email, phone or social, you should have the same response, the same language and the same process to resolve the issue.
Consider outsourcing – because it takes time to run a good social media presence, it might save you time and money to outsource this role to a social media marketing virtual assistant. By agreeing an approach and setting guidelines, you can be sure that your online customer service is in professional and experienced hands, and is helping to build your brand rather than knock it.
If you’re short on time and need help with social media management – including online customer service, feel free to call us on 0800 994 9016 or use our contact form in the menu above.