Social media has become the customer service center for most organizations, large and small.
Patrons use the different platforms as a way to find and gather information, ask questions and compliment (or complain about) your
One of the first things you can do for your brand is to fill out a complete company profile. Include a comprehensive description of what your company is
“about,” your hours, price range and anything else applicable to consumers.
After you have provided enough information and have uploaded company images, the next important thing to do on social media is interact.
Interacting on social media is important because it lets customers know you care—and they also expect it. A recent study by Eptica found that the average response times via email, Facebook and Twitter are:
- Email: 7 hours, 51 minutes
- Facebook: 1 day, 3 hours and 47 minutes
- Twitter: 1 day, 7 hours and 12 minutes
That’s how long it takes for brand managers to respond, but the study revealed that customers’ expected wait times are drastically lower:
Email: 6 hours
Facebook: 6 hours
Twitter: 60 minutes
How can you beat the expected wait time and exceed your customers’ expectations through social media? Here are tips to help you interact on Facebook,
Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat:
There are more than 1 billion active users on Facebook each day, leaving an incredible opportunity for
people to see and interact with your page.
When interacting with fans, be friendly and prompt. When you upload a new image or post, watch for likes and comments and respond appropriately.
It doesn’t hurt to include a “thanks” after a few comments; play it by ear. Some may even leave you a message about it. Keep tabs on the red icons over
messages and notifications.
is smaller than Facebook, but it is becoming one of the biggest platforms to connect brands with customers.
Along with Facebook, Twitter now offers users the ability to “like” different tweets. Many times, when customers want to reach out to business, they will
use the Twitter handle of the business in their tweet followed by a message. As a business owner you should be looking for these types of interactions.
You’ll be able to see these tags under the “notifications” button on your home page.
Go through these individually and determine how to interact with them. Should you reply directly, or would a simple “like” be enough? You can make
someone’s day by a personalized response.
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Google Plus is unique from other social networks because it provides “circles” users can use to organize contacts by relationship for sharing and privacy control.
Sort your contacts by customers, fellow employees, vendors or other categories.
What makes LinkedIn different than other platforms are LinkedIn Groups. LinkedIn Groups are a great way to start a
discussion with your customers and audience in an organized way.
Pose a question and gather information. Customers will appreciate being directly asked what they think about your business and their ideas for improvement.
Instagram may seem like a place where only Taylor Swift, the Kardashians and the Jenners thrive, but it’s an incredible platform for brand development. The
reason? Instagram enables you to create brand ambassadors.
These are people love and embody your brand while talking about it on social media. Free People is a
great example—it asks real customers to use a hashtag to post photos wearing its clothing and selects some photos to feature on its official page. This
gets customers involved and encourages interaction.
Pinterest is a fast rising star for social media marketing. As social media becomes a leading factor in the e-commerce decision-making process, successful
brand managers on Pinterest are in tune to what their followers want to see.
brand managers have their hands on the pulse of their consumers and use Pinterest to show them how to use certain make-up products or products to enhance
Log into Pinterest and take time to explore your followers’ boards and pins Spend time “hearting” images and responding to comments as well.
Though Snapchat may be difficult for brand managers to use for interaction, you can gauge the effectiveness of your snaps through followers.
Having a solid foundation of followers can lead to word-of-mouth marketing, which increases overall interest in your business. One way to keep and gain
more followers is to go behind the scenes.
To launch the beginning of the fourth season of “Girls,” HBO’s social media team posted live videos
and images of the cast and other notable attendees at the premiere party.
This was a digital invitation to an event you otherwise would not have access to. Consumers love to get the inside scoop they love. Whether you send images
and videos from an office party or show your organization’s daily operations, customers will appreciate the engagement.
Handling negative comments
When looking for customer interaction, don’t be turned off by negative comments; they’re just an opportunity to solve a problem and potentially gain a
Here are four tactics small business owners and PR pros can use to deal with negative comments:
1. Don’t delete.
It may be your first instinct to delete the negative comment and pretend it never happened.
Instead, ask for more information from the original poster to get to the bottom of the problem. If they follow up and explain more of the situation, send
them a message and resolve the issue in private.
2. Don’t ignore.
Ignoring posts or comments are as bad as deleting them. Burying your head in the sand may make it seem like there is no issue, but every moment without a
response can make the situation worse.
If you are working on getting more information about the conflict, say so. Other customers can see when you don’t reply and can form negative opinions.
3. See it is an opportunity.
There is nothing more valuable in business than brand advocates, and negative feedback presents you with the chance to turn a disgruntled customer into
People like personal attention. Interact with the customer and help them through the crisis; they will remember that and could change his or her mind about
4. Don’t fall into troll traps.
Social media trolls are nasty commenters who have too much time on their hands. A troll’s only purpose is to leave negative comments and disrupt someone’s
It can be difficult to identify a troll right away, but there are clues to watch for. A troll often uses poor grammar, types in all
caps and doesn’t provide specific information about an issue with your organization.
In the case of a troll, it is acceptable to delete a comment after you’ve investigated the concern—especially if it contains inappropriate language.
Spend a few minutes each day on different social platforms and you’ll see what customers are saying about you. Exceed their expectations by replying in a
swift and effective manner.
Natalie Petersen is a publicist at Three Girls Media. A version of this article originally appeared on the firm’s blog.