By Samantha Law | Senior Consultant

Social media provides a very public avenue for customer feedback and reviews. Brands must place emphasis on their social media community management strategy; managing sentiment across forums to protect their presence and fuel customer retention and loyalty.

According to Hubspot, 80% of customers expect companies to respond to social media contact within 24 hours. In fact, 50% of customers claim they would cease business with a company that fails to respond to negative social media.

Twinned with the algorithmic shift in channels such as Facebook to highlight the importance of “building genuine and meaningful relationships”, the value and priority to manage your social community effectively cannot be understated.

The knock-on impact of incorrect, improper or absent enquiry management will damage your brand identity as well as negatively impact acquisition key performance indicators.

Here are our five top tips to evolve, maximise and enhance your social media community management offering in 2019.

Set social users' expectations

Your social channels are accessible 24/7 and with this, comes the expectation that you’re ‘always on’.

One of the biggest challenges we see with brands is that they don’t publish clear timings for when the channel is monitored, or response expectation times. This can lead to frustrated customers who feel ignored.

Selling internationally online places more pressure on the social service team as international customers are more likely to contact you outside of business hours. Response management should be a key component of your social media strategy.

Enriching fundamental text fields and automated instant response functionalities across your owned social channels will establish response times and provide confidence to your customer. Consider public holidays across states or regions and make sure the customer has an alternative way to contact you, such as email or phone.  

Social insight is everything

A critical aspect of enquiry management is to respond to all comments, messages and reviews, whether they are good or bad. However, brands often don’t take the time to capture this customer feedback and analyse it, to make informed decisions about their customer or brand.

Complaints about a brand and negative experiences can quickly go viral through Facebook Groups and Instagram stories. Analysing customer feedback allows you to spot issues, mistakes or more slowly building shifts in consumer sentiment before they turn into a PR crisis.

We can run a workshop for a client - including its social and customer service managers - to draw out common themes in the enquiries being received and tie these to business goals or objectives. The output of the workshop is an insight framework that includes between five to 10 categories to regularly analyse.

Insight can then be shared with the rest of the business on a regular basis, with actions assigned based on what the data is telling you.

Express your brand personality

Though customers can often be annoyed or frustrated at the point they reach out to your brand on social media there is still a place for your social care team to use your brand tone of voice and personality in replies.  

Identifying when it’s appropriate to add humour, fun and playfulness to a communication is key to this. Brands have experienced huge success with timing and relevancy of responses that provoke viral reactions across channels and in turn, increased engagement and loyalty amongst existing and new fans, followers or communities.

Another way to introduce brand personality is to align with your content and marketing teams on a regular basis to understand what categories are being promoted, or what language and hashtags are being used across mediums. This way, you can tailor feedback and support a more integrated marketing strategy.

Focus on creating a consistent personality and voice for your community and content by these tactics above and measure the impact. 

Build a customer feedback ecosystem

Principles applied and practiced across your social media community management can be extended to other forums or platforms. If customers are writing about you, it shouldn’t matter where or how – answer them all and take ownership.

Deliver a consistent response across channels that are seen as extensions of social media, such as product review or feedback sites such as productreview.com.au, Quora and TripAdvisor. The skill-set required to manage this is likely to sit with your social media and/or customer service teams.  

Fuel your content with customer feedback

User generated content should form one pillar of your social media community management strategy, to energise your community, tap into user-generated content trends and improve the relevancy of your content and responses.

Inbound reviews, comments, messages or posts from customers can all be utilised.

A great example of this is ASOS’ current strategy to feature tweets from followers who are passionate about its products, to provide meme-style inspiration that perfectly aligns with its consumer demographic (see below).

Social strategy post - Asos UGC example.png

Just remember to play by the community rules on Facebook and Instagram by ensuring you have permission to publish other users’ content first.

If you need help to define your social media strategy, or would like to find out more about the services that Practicology offers to global brands please get in touch at hello@practicology.com.  

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