5 Ways to Improve Customer Service on Social Media
By Brian Wilman
From 2020 to 2021, the volume of consumers who preferred using social messaging for customer service jumped an impressive 110%. That’s because it is efficient, flexible and convenient. Social media is available 24 hours a day and doesn’t require prolonged hold times or conversation. The conversation history also is documented on both ends, creating an honest paper trail.
Businesses of all sizes and across all industries can benefit by evolving their customer service approach to “community management,” which is a fancy way to describe monitoring and responding to customers via their social profiles. Whether you sell soybeans or packaging, insurance or manufacturing equipment, here are five best practices to fuel a richer community management experience:
1. Establish a consistent brand voice
Consider how you want your brand to be perceived by the public. Do you want it to sound sophisticated? Humorous? Excited? Making that decision now ensures consistency moving forward.
2. Build responses to frequently asked questions and comments
Brainstorm common questions and review comments on your social profiles to uncover common themes. Then, craft responses that address those topics while keeping consistent with your brand’s voice and tone. Also, it’s a good idea to create multiple options for each response to avoid sounding robotically repetitive.
Pro tip: We like to organize responses into a chart, called a response matrix, to group preapproved responses by question, theme and issue type. When you don’t have to scramble for answers, you improve response times.
3. Outline an escalation process for crisis management or adverse events
Even the best community management strategies and response plans can’t anticipate everything. There will always be situations where community managers need to react on their feet. Again, having an escalation process and decision tree in place improves response times and ensures agreement among all necessary parties.
4. Implement routine social listening
While the bulk of community management is reactive, a brand or business mention can occasionally create real opportunities for productive engagement. Discovering and joining these social media conversations requires social listening: an essential tool for taking community management strategy to the next level.
While there are multiple ways to go about social listening, tools like Meltwater and Brandwatch simplify the process tremendously. These tools enable reviewing brand and competitor mentions. They also help marketers understand brand sentiment and how people are talking about relevant brand topics online. These listening tools convert social media into an ongoing 24/7 brand focus group.
The most important thing to remember while performing community management is to not get trapped in a set way of doing things. A strategy and set of guidelines ensure consistency; however, the social media landscape is everchanging and community managers must adapt.
Brands that take more risks and are open to trying out-of-the-box responses are the ones that get remembered.
Social media shines when it invites customers to join and partake in conversation. It’s a space that prioritizes efficiency, convenience and collaboration. With these five best practices, any brand can take immediate steps toward developing an effective strategy for community management. We’d love to help you get there by handling strategic development and response messaging. We also have the resources to handle your community moderation from beginning to end.
About the Author
Having begun his career at Bader Rutter in October 2021, Brian Wilman, assistant account executive on the social media team, has led community management efforts across a plethora of clients in the food & bev, agriculture and manufacturing industries. Additionally, he’s risen through the ranks as a paid social ads trafficker and has received a Meta Blueprint Certification in Paid Social Media Buying. His reputation as a positive, kind and thoughtful team player has aided in his ultimate priority of establishing an effective social media presence for your brand or business.