Social Media Justice: Delivering Excellent Customer Service in the Digital Age

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Do you recall your last customer “service” experience? Did it leave you pleased and pleasantly surprised or angry and frustrated? The subject of good versus bad customer service is an issue that every business must be aware of. In the age of “Social Media Justice”, it is important to remember that information travels fast, and in this day and age, it’s only a click away for the person researching your company for their next purchase.

Think of changes in our access to information about a company just in the last 10 years. And with the rise in social media, your service interactions with your customers can be screen captured, chat copied, browser recorded, phone tapped and email forwarded in the blink of an eye. Your customer service is now “content” for sites like YouTube, Yelp, FourSquare, Facebook and ScamReport.

So, how do we develop a system in which we use all relevant mediums and tools to deliver excellent customer service? First, we must use all points of customer engagement to increase convergence and provide care. Quality customer care and responsiveness equals priceless credibility. Second, relate and get to know your customers as individuals. Stay engaged with who your customers are, get to know their behaviors and find a common-ground. Lastly, empower your employees with knowledge and direction. A well-trained employee will have the skills necessary to provide positive, productive communication with clients.

It’s important to remember that technology is enabling better customer service experiences, but can work against you when a bad experience happens. Meet your customers on their turf – so to speak. If they are using social platforms like Facebook or Twitter, learn how you can utilize these touch points to improve your relationship and service (or to avoid customer care calls). For a business, using tools like social media platforms can be a win-win situation. It has given businesses a variety of channels to respond to and engage with customers quickly and individually. Social media platforms allow for you to stay engaged in the behavior, activity and responsiveness of your audience.

Aside from the immediacy and interactivity of emerging technology that can support this, what it all boils down to is the human interaction between business and customer. Great customer service is a reflection of how well a company values their customer. And remember – “honesty is the best policy.” Addressing customer concerns in both a timely and honest fashion is of critical importance and priority. Otherwise you may have thousands of potential customers reading about it in the “reviews” written by the people who really matter – your customers.

The Science of Social Engagement

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It’s 7 a.m. – do you know what your social media campaign is doing for you? Time is a valuable tool for your social media strategy, if applied correctly. So, if you have been wondering what is the best time to update your business’s Facebook page, when to publish a blog, or post a tweet, there is a science behind not just “what” to post, but “when” to post. Timing your interactivity with various social platforms can dramatically improve your marketing campaign as a whole. We will explore both.

Learning how to manage and balance your social strategy can be tricky and it is important to remember what your purpose of using social media is, who your target audience is and what is the “voice” or “tone” of your brand. Having an account on Facebook or Twitter does not mean you have a digital marketing campaign ready to go. Simply sharing content via social platforms whenever you feel like it will not make for an effective strategy (remember: information is not marketing). It is imperative to understand who your audience is and what their motivations are for being interested in the type of content you have to offer. And consistency is key.

In order to begin this process, consider the following questions as an example of what you should be asking yourself every time you get ready to post or engage with your audience:

  • 1. Is it relevant to the prospective or current customer you are targeting?
  • 2. Is this content just about selling your product or service or providing value that would encourage engagement with your brand across several groups?
  • 3. What is the call to action of your messages to the audience – is it awareness, engagement or transaction?
  • 4. How does this single message fit with your larger marketing strategy, the consistency of your message and the tone of your brand?

Thinking in advance about the type of message you want to deliver, the desired outcome you’re seeking and who exactly you are targeting will help you determine the best social media marketing means. Now sprinkle a little timing into the equation and here is where it gets interesting.

Timing Tips for Twitter and Facebook:

  • 1. Retweet activity is heaviest between 2 – 5 p.m. (EST). Tweet later in the day and later in the week for best results.
  • 2. Saturdays and Sundays are amongst the highest days for Twitter click-through rate (CTR).
  • 3. Weekends, between 12a.m. – 12 p.m. are the best time for sharing information on Facebook.

Timing Tips for Email Marketing:

  • 1. Experiment with sending out emails during the weekend, as they tend to get more opens and a higher CTR on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • 2. Early morning is when most people typically open and read their email. If your email is waiting for them, they are more likely to read it.
  • 3. Send email more often with content that is more relevant should minimize the rate of unsubscribers. No one will see your content as valuable, if it arrives once a quarter.
  • 4. Your newest subscribers are your best subscribers as they have a higher CTR potential.

Timing Tips for Blogs:

  • 1. Blog post page views are highest on Mondays.
  • 2. Comments for blog posts tend to spike on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • 3. Blog posts published early, between 6 – 7 a.m. (EST), tend to get the most links.
  • 4. Blog more frequently! Try blogging at least once a week as a good starting point.

Remember, it’s important to understand your purpose of each communication with your client and apply these key points accordingly. Construct a plan that will allow you to monitor, analyze and manage your efforts. Once you have a proven method of content that your audience is responding to, experiment with different times and days to get the most effective strategy for your campaign.

Want to read more timing tips? Follow the #TimeSci hashtag on Twitter to stay ahead of the curve.

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