Social customer service is a term that has been used in the last few years to describe a style of customer service that provides customers with all of the information they need about a company and its products, services, or brands on social media.
This may include specific posts from pages, replies to questions or comments, and direct messages with customers. Social customer care is not only for marketing purposes but also for resolving issues quickly when they arise.
In this post, we will look at how you can use social media as an effective tool in your business strategy to grow your brand awareness and increase sales through interactive engagement with customers.
In order to do this successfully, it’s important to understand what social media channels are best suited for your needs (Facebook groups vs Facebook pages) and how to best utilize them.
There are several advantages of using social media for customer service, notably that it allows companies to interact with their customers quickly and efficiently. Social media can also provide instant access to information about product availability, pricing, and promotions.
For example, many people use Twitter (an online messaging platform) to find out the real-time availability of products or check current stock prices for goods they intend to purchase at the supermarket later in the day.
Companies should embrace this change in communication styles by providing multiple options for their customers when seeking resolution on problems or simply looking for more information. This gives your customers the choice to communicate with you through different types of platforms which will ultimately increase sales if done correctly.
How to Increase Your Social Customer Service
The following are key areas in which social media can be used to enhance the customer service experience:
Prioritising posts over direct messages
If you’re running a Facebook page it’s important to ensure that posts are prioritized over private messages. This is because customers will expect replies from you within an hour or two, yet if they send you a message through Facebook Messenger (a messaging platform) this could take much longer to reply to. Some companies choose to use customer service software like Zendesk Chat (a chatbot software) for solving issues quickly; allowing them to respond back instantly with canned responses when workloads are very high.
Using hashtags correctly
Hashtags are words or phrases that begin with the hash character (#). On social media, hashtags are used to mark a keyword or topic to make it easier for everyone following a conversation to find a relevant post. It’s important not to abuse hashtags as this can cause your original message to get lost among the clutter of other irrelevant content.
There is no set rule about how often you should be posting on social media but if you choose not to post at all then there will be an expectation from your customers that they will not receive any support from you. Many companies see success when posting content multiple times per day but it depends on what kind of product or service you provide and what’s relevant in your industry right now.
Posting quality over quantity
It’s much better to post a great piece of content that is likely to be interacted with and shared than 10 posts that only receive a handful of likes or retweets. The more engagement you get on your various social media channels, the higher your profile will appear in search engines (i.e., Google), which will bring more visitors to your website and subsequently increase sales.
Use hashtags strategically
There are two main mistakes companies make when it comes to using hashtags:
#1: not using any at all, and #2: abusing them by adding too many irrelevant ones (more than 2-3 per post).
If you’re not using any hashtags then people won’t necessarily know what you’re talking about or how they can find more information on your product/service. However, adding too many hashtags will lead to your post looking cluttered and unprofessional.
The best strategy is to use 1-2 hashtags per Instagram photo and 1-3 per Facebook status update (depending on the length of your message). If you’re including a call-to-action in a blog post then try using 4-5 relevant hashtags as this will increase its visibility when people search for these topics online.
Using multimedia correctly
Many social media networks allow businesses to include media such as videos, images, or links within their posts which help explain an issue or problem quickly and easily. These types of posts tend to receive much higher engagement because it’s easy for your customers to understand what you’re talking about rather than having to skim through the lengthy text.
Add an image whenever possible (at least one per post)
Although there are plenty of people who will read your texts, a quick look at Facebook tells us that most users spend a lot less time reading text and a lot more time looking at images. A well-designed image can be very effective in conveying a message quickly and clearly with little effort from the reader. This technique is also useful when posting on Instagram as it allows you to include longer messages within the caption field, which is limited to just 3o characters per post.
Posting suitable content all the times
In my opinion, Facebook has the most diverse audience, as compared to other social media channels. It is a combination of different kinds of people from all sectors and industries including interested professionals who are willing to hear what you have to say.
Setting up your Twitter account correctly
Twitter was originally created for following celebrities, sports stars, etc but it has evolved into something much more useful for businesses over the past few years. There are many ways in which you can use Twitter effectively but one good way is to create interesting tweets that encourage users to click on the link within your tweet rather than retweeting or mentioning you on their own profile page (which also creates new followers for you).
Responding quickly while protecting yourself legally
If you’re doing business online then there’s a good chance that some of your customers will post negative content about you on different review sites such as Yelp, Facebook and Google+.
This is normal and happens to all companies, but how quickly these issues are dealt with can have a big effect on the way potential customers view your brand. One approach is to resolve problems directly by apologizing for any inconvenience caused and offering an explanation or solution where possible.
Being responsive in different time zones
It’s important that customer service staff are knowledgeable about when clients are most active online so their questions can be answered at the right time. If someone comments on your Facebook status before 9am EST then it makes sense to reply back during this time period rather than waiting until 8pm EST when they might just be getting into bed. This type of strategy also helps you avoid replying to questions that have already been answered by someone else and reduce the chances of confusing your customers.
Using interactive social media tools effectively
There are a number of effective ways to use tools such as Hootsuite and Edgar which can help you manage multiple social accounts at once and organize different types of posts for future posting so you don’t forget about them later on. Most SMM software has a free trial period so it’s worth giving this a try before committing to anything as this will allow you to test out its features and see if they meet your needs.