A strong social strategy is a prerequisite of memorable online customer interactions.
Social media websites like Facebook and Twitter provide brands a range of opportunities to connect with their target audience. Through social platforms, you can promote new products, provide customer service, or just talk to customers in a relaxed manner.
For many brands, however, engaging with their target sectors online isn’t that easy. As much as 62% of managers surveyed worldwide said they find it difficult to design an overall social strategy.
This is alarming, since without a comprehensive strategy, the quality of online customer engagement is compromised. This ruins the customer experience and weakens company branding.
On the other hand, good online interactions can open many doors: better marketing, increased sales, and high-quality customer support. As you set out to talk to your audience on social media, remember to build your strategy around these four key elements.
It may not be the most important consideration for other channels such as email, but on the social web, speed matters most.
A recent survey showed that 32% of online users expect a response from brands within 30 minutes, while 42% said they can wait for a maximum of an hour.
And if those figures aren’t enough, consider this: 57% of customers expect you to reply just as fast even at night or during weekends.
Needless to say, this is a big responsibility for brands. A cost-efficient and fast solution would be to partner with a customer service provider that can manage your social accounts 24/7. But if you choose to do it in-house, make sure that you have enough employees who can respond to customers quickly.
2. The right tone and language
While they do complement one another, there’s a subtle difference between tone and language.
Tone refers to the overall vibe of your brand (i.e., Do customers perceive you as witty, friendly, or too professional?). Language, on the other hand, refers to the words that you use during social media conversations.
Both of these elements should reflect your company branding. When you project a memorable image and you embody that personality consistently, customers will remember you.
Thus, as you talk to customers online, keep in mind your brand’s identity. This is one of the best ways to create a branded customer experience.
3. Clarity of messages
To improve customer engagement, make sure that your messages are clear and easily understandable. To do this, keep your messages short and straight to the point. Most online users don’t have the time for unnecessarily long messages.
Using simple terms also works well. For better interactions, make your sentences sound as conversational as possible. So avoid jargon and aim to be understood.
Lastly, always ask for questions and feedback from customers. They shouldn’t feel discouraged to clarify anything that confuses them. This paves the way to better and faster problem resolution.
4. Transparency and honesty
When you take your brand to social media, expect a host of comments—both good and bad—from your customers. Of course, being able to generate positive feedback is a great thing, but negative ones can be difficult to handle. You don’t want it to escalate into a full-blown PR crisis, so you may opt to delete these comments. However, doing so may imply that you don’t hold yourself accountable for your shortcomings, and customers won’t be happy about this.
The best way to promote transparency through your online accounts is to acknowledge all your customers’ comments, be they positive or negative. However, make it a point to show customers that you’re actively working on their complaints. This is a good way to show that they can trust you.