5 Tips for Better Consumer Response on Social Media
Customer service has become a huge focus on brands’ social media channels in recent years, which we love. Social media is about connecting with people and engaging them. By monitoring your social pages, you can find out what customers want, what they like about your brand and what you can improve upon (sometimes you may find out a lot about what you can improve upon). Here are a few tips for effective consumer response on your social channels, but first, a few statistics:
– 42% of customers expect a response from brands within an hour of posting (Twitter users expect no more than two hours)
– 25% think it will probably be longer than an hour, but should be the same day
– 33% expect that it will be a few days before the brand responds
– 88% of customers said that if they visited a Facebook page with a lot of complaints and ignored posts from fans, they would be either “somewhat less likely” or “far less likely” to purchase with that brand.
– 89% of consumers say they have done business with a competitor due to a brand’s poor social response
Now compare those numbers to these:
– 60% of retail brand pages neglect complaints and questions on their Facebook pages
– Most big brands only respond to about 14% of tweets from customers, depending on urgency and content
To say that there is a big gap between what the customer expects and what brands are doing is putting it mildly. Therefore, let’s talk tips on how to make sure your customer service presence on social is impactful.
1. Don’t ignore anything
Don’t ignore questions, positive comments, negative comments, spam or profanity. All of these have an appropriate response. When ignored, it will make your brand look negligent of its page and fans. By the way, if you hide anything, always explain why. A simple message on the comment thread that says “All profanity will be removed for the sake of other community members” will do. Positive comments often get overlooked. That person still took the time to visit your social page and tell you how they felt, so be thankful. Say thanks, ask a relevant question to find out more about their positive experience or simply like/retweet/favorite the comment.
With Twitter especially, it can be difficult to find all of the comments people are saying about your brand. If you’re not ready to invest in a social monitoring tool, try using keywords in addition to your brand search. Some examples include “mad,” “sad,” “happy,” “angry,” “buying,” “quitting.” These will lead you to the tweets about your brand that are the most pertinent to respond to now.
3. Take it off social
When receiving negative feedback, respond quickly with a way for the user to contact someone who can help. Taking it off the Facebook page will prevent long strings of negative conversation. If the comment is not constructive (i.e.: someone wrote “Your brand sucks!”), try responding by asking questions: I’m sorry you feel that way, John. Is there anything we can do to change your mind?
4. Maintain a professional voice
There are times when you might want to say something snarky or even too casual back to the consumer. Don’t. Play by the rule that once you’ve hit send, the comment is out there forever. You can hide it from your timeline or remove it from your feed, but sometimes it has a way of coming back around. Instead, offer solutions and positivity to your customer. There are very few customers who are looking to fight; they’re mostly looking for resolution.
5. Communicate all responses to teammates
The last thing you want is a customer getting conflicting (or duplicate) responses. Therefore, it is important to discuss with your team who will be responsible for consumer response. If more than one party is involved, careful documentation must happen in order to ensure a unified brand presence across all channels.
Following these simple tips will ensure that your social channels are well-maintained. You can give your consumers the chance to get their questions answered and their complaints rectified on social media, which is where most of them are anyway.
Steve Parker, Jr. is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Levelwing, a firm that creates business analytics + intelligence solutions, mining and analyzing data to help businesses market and operate with greater clarity and profitability. Founded in 2002, Levelwing operates in New York, NY and Charleston, SC and serves clients in the automotive, finance/banking, healthcare, education, retail, ...