Social media’s a funny, fickle thing. I used to hate it, and now I love it and am very opinionated about which platforms are the best and how to best use them. But like it or loathe it, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Companies know this, but not all of them are approaching the platforms equally or even at all. The ones who are on it, aren’t necessarily doing the best possible job that they can, but how can they know? It’s so new, anyone could make a case for why their approach works best.
Only, it isn’t all that old, and there already are some best practices. It’s important to figure out what your approach should be because according to a new study from LiveOps and Harris Interactive, “a whopping 85 percent of consumers say that the way a company handles customer interactions and complaints on social media is a reflection of its overall customer service.” Consumers are also finding that companies are “falling short” in their responses via social media.
Small-business blog Score has a post on how you can stop falling short and be much more responsive. Unlike what I usually do with these posts, I will excerpt the entirety of their advice (It’s short):
- Monitor your social media accounts. Use social media monitoring tools like Sprout Social or Trackur to keep on top of what’s said about your business. Set up Google Alerts on your company name so you can catch mentions of your business on the Web.
- Don’t stretch yourself too thin. If you can’t be responsive on 10 social media channels, dial it back. Figure out which social media accounts matter the most to your business, and focus there. As your mom always said, it’s better to do one thing well than 5 things poorly.
- Be real. Customers appreciate authenticity on social media. When they have a problem, often they just want to be heard. Responding quickly and being willing to listen will go a long way toward resolving any hard feelings that may exist.
The important thing to note is that there are tools to help make your jobs easier with this stuff. Don’t be a hero. Just be a regular person who happens to represent a company.
David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a comedy-writing instructor for Second City and an adjunct professor in DePaul’s College of Computing and Digital Media. (He also co-runs a blog behind the DePaul class, DIY Game Dev.) He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.