Despite the fact that social media exists to connect people and businesses, it can feel increasingly impersonal. With most sites developing complicated algorithms to track interest and target users on what the equation thinks they need, social media users can feel overwhelmed by the ads they are being served and the presence of businesses on their timelines.
However, when used correctly, social media can make a huge positive impact on your business. This can be achieved by using social media to create a customer experience (CX). CX is thrown around a lot in the marketing world as a buzzword, but its definition is simple: customer experience is the impression your client leaves with after interacting with your company, be it in person, on your website, or on social media.
If you’re not thinking about how your social media strategy creates a customer experience (CX), you should be:
- A 2011 American Express Survey reports that 70% of Americans would spend more with companies that provide excellent customer service.
- Huffpost explains: “ Customer experience is not a one time event, and every single interaction is going to be different.”
- Businesses are also responding to the increasing necessity of strong CX: 8 in 10 viewed it as a differentiator between businesses in 2017, according to Tool Box.
This all means that if you work to create a positive customer experience for your brand online, your clients will be glad for a break from endless ads.
Making customer experiences a priority should already be a key part of your social media strategy. If you’re still developing your CX plan, don’t worry. Here are 5 tips for your social media presence moving forward.
Know Your Audience
One of the most important steps you can take to create exceptional customer experiences is to fully understand and know your target audience.
When building your brand, you need to consider who your ideal customer is. Are they millennials just starting in the workforce? Married couples with families? College students?
Knowing this information will help you figure out what to post and where to post it.
Trying to reach baby boomers on Twitter is as fruitless as trying to reach 20 somethings on Google +.
You need to know where your target audience is active. PEW Internet has some interesting data on social media trends which you can check out here, which indicates that Facebook is the most popular social media outlet by far.
You also should consider who is engaging with your posts. If you’re getting a lot of feedback from other businesses, but no comments from actual customers, you need to reconsider your posting strategy.
There is a big difference between who is engaging with your content and who you want to be engaging with your content.
There might be a substantial gap between your expectations and reality. Look at your chosen platforms and the times you are posting.
The truth is, clients are looking for a solution to their problems.
If your content appears at just the right moment, you become the answer their looking for. Or didn’t know they were looking for!
A recent study by Hubspot analyzed top social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram for best posting times. By tailoring your posting schedule to your ideal customers, you are setting them up for an excellent CX via social media.
Keep Complaints at Bay
The next step in creating an excellent customer experience over social media is to respond to feedback.
Of course, this task can seem daunting.
Social media, especially Twitter, has opened up a new line of customer communication to the direct source, and people aren’t shy about using or abusing it. Time even wrote up a guide on how to complain on Twitter for the best corporate responses, which is worth looking over to stay on the offense.
A quick “Please DM us to resolve your issue” or a simple tweet saying “We’re on it!” is more than adequate- you don’t need an immediate solution. You just need to acknowledge the customer’s issue.
- According to a study by Hubspot, “72% of people expect a response within the hour when they’re issuing a complaint.”
- Help Scout reports that 70% of customers will repeat business with you again if you resolve a complaint in their favor.
Embrace this new opportunity to connect online. Again, your customers are just looking for a solution to their problems. Reframe your thinking and look at the increase in communication as an opportunity to wow them.
Focus on the Positive
Another great way to use customer responses is to highlight reviews and good feedback.
Reply to every positive tweet, like every mention, and work to build a positive space online. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask positive reviewers to elaborate on their good experience with your brand. Offering incentives like account credits, discounts, or a post for post shared review is a great way to make this happen.
Customers like to see results, and social media is an excellent way to share positive reviews. If customers have pictures with your product or service, encourage them to share under specific hashtags and thank them for their business.
Buffer App breaks it down; “Brands that can create aspirational ways for their community to interact with them not only create social media opportunities but also the chance to move beyond likes into something lasting.” A study shared in the same article revealed that people had similar neurological reactions when looking at the logos of brands they loved and pictures of their loved ones.
Branding is powerful, and social media becomes more and more crucial to successful branding every day.
Make sure your social media presence presents a unique customer experience, and enjoy the results.
Feature the Favorites
If you have a particularly illuminating testimonial, consider writing a case study.
Express Writers says, “Peer-to-peer influence is a massively important thing, and case studies are wonderful at fulfilling it because they offer the view of a customer rather than a company. While it’s a company that publishes a case study, the entire thing is dedicated to recounting a customer’s experience. Direct quotes, statistics, and more are standard. These are fantastic for helping would-be clients to see the value in a company.”
Check out their extensive guide for writing a case study here.
Once you have a few substantial case studies, feature them on your website or blog. You can even publish them in an e-book. Sending out case studies to potential customers will show them the service and quality available from your business.
By posting smarter, focusing on your chosen platforms and demographic, responding quickly to complaints, and highlighting your achievements, your company will create an unforgettable customer experience for current and future clients.