Let’s say you’re in a group discussion. You actively share your thoughts and opinions but no one acknowledges you. How does that make you feel? You maybe feel stupid for trying to participate. No matter how you feel, it creates a negative association with the host, co-attendees, and event.
The same goes to how your customers feel when they leave a comment on your social media platforms without being acknowledged. Whether or not you respond, how you respond, and how fast you respond, all go into your customer’s experience in engaging with your brand. And it leaves an impression – good or bad.
So, to ensure to a positive impression, learn why brands need to prioritize social media response:
1. Customers Are Shifting To Social Media For Support
Quicker than email and phone call, there are plenty of reasons why consumers prefer social media as a support channel. Although phone and email might be seen as major channels, the boom of social media questions isn’t going away.
2. Fast Social Media Response Results To More Loyal Customers
Salesforce, reports that:
- 80% of consumers prefers to stay loyal to a brand that replies in an instant.
- 71% highlights the importance of 24/7 customer care as their main influence on loyalty.
Recent research from Gartner notes that customers are significantly more likely to stick with a brand long-term when their service expectations are met. And, repeat customers and brand advocates are here to stay as long as their queries and concerns are being attended to.
When a customer calls you out on social media, all eyes are on you. How you handle a customer complaint and how quick you respond can turn a negative comment into a positive social media feed. These types of interactions can actually help you earn more loyal customers and even attract new customers.
In addition, being active on social media can establish you as the go-to expert in your niche that will lead people in to your page.
3. Fast Replies Give Competitive Advantage
In relation to the previous point, by quickly responding to social media queries can keep customers from bouncing to competitors’ page.
4. Social Media Comments Can Improve Products/Services
Listening to what your customers have to say via social media is essential. And sometimes the comments can help you identify gaps in your product and service, which you may have not otherwise noticed.
Did you know that the Netflix ‘n Chilled flavor of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream is a product of social media comments and mentions?
Ben and Jerry’s spends a huge chunk of its marketing budget on social media advertisements to promote their ice creams. Following common sense, they allocate more budget during the summer season when it’s sunny and hot.
All had been running smoothly until a snowstorm hit New York City. They decreased the ad budget assuming the last thing people want during cold weather is a cold dessert.
Upon checking the ad’s performance in New York, click-through-rates jumped up and sales figures came through.
The company checked Twitter and Instagram and noticed there was an uptick during poor weather, particularly when it was rainy. It turned out that when rain forced people to stay in watching films, TV, or Netflix, they wanted ice cream to go with it.
This opened up a whole new area for Ben and Jerry’s to target. Now, they would look for rain in the forecasts, as well as sun, and adjust their marketing plans accordingly.
They even went a step further and created a flavour just for this purpose: Netflix & Chill’d.
5. Consistent and Professional Responses Gets Positive Reactions
When responding to social media comments, maintain a professional approach, and retain a style of writing that is in line with your brand’s overall persona. The aim should be to sound personable and approachable while resolving issues or answering questions.
If you use humor, emojis and GIF’s in your social media responses, ensure that you are still addressing the concerns. If you don’t have a quick resolution or answer, acknowledge that you have noted the customer’s comment and you will get back to them within a specific timeframe.
Now that you know why you need to reply as soon as possible to social media messages and comments, here are the ways how to speed up:
1. Use Automated Replies
When it comes to social questions and comments, chances are you have your “usual suspects.”
If you are an airline company, expect that you will receive a lot of questions about rebooking or cancellation.
Having automated and suggested replies are handy. It can help you take care of such questions without having to write them out manually. The idea is to respond as soon as possible with the correct information.
Not only is it a massive time-saver, but also, maintain accuracy around key messages like brand voice, while freeing up more time and bandwidth for your social team to add the personal touch to consumer care.
Don’t forget to template your response well and make sure it still looks personalized.
2. Strategize How To Answer Negative Comments
It may be your least thing to do but nonetheless, you have to answer them or else your customer will overpower you.
To respond to them effectively, work with your team to develop standard responses that are both helpful and neutral.
If a customer has a more complex issue that requires multiple back-and-forth messages or exchanging personal information, request to move the conversation to a DM. In this way, you can protect your company from the bad perception you current and future shoppers might have.
3. Prioritize Based On Urgency
Pick your battles.
We all know that not all messages are sent to our page nor negative comments posted on your page. Some customers choose to post their sentiments on their own Facebook or Twitter pages. And this should be prioritized because this will impact your reputation on people who are friends or follow them.
Response time is critical when dealing with a potential social media crisis such as an outage or offensive post that’s gone viral.