It is a top strategic priority for every company to offer an experience to their customers that will exceed their expectations. But companies need to understand that it is a complex marketplace out there where customers judge brands from various perspectives, from diverse viewpoint via different channels. With the onset of social media, the relationship between consumers and brands has taken an entirely new meaning. With ever increasing customer expectations, companies often find it difficult to come up with the most effective and comprehensive social media strategy to enhance their brand engagement. Luckily, there are few parameters that a brand can maintain while building their social media customer service game plan.
Consumers Expect Brands to Use Social Media Platforms in a Conscious way
This generation adores brands that are socially conscious and make some sort of contribution to the society. Using social media platforms consciously could prove to be an instrumental tool for enhancing your digital reputation among the consumers. Project your company as being the socially conscious information source.
- Plan of Action for Facebook: It is by far the most influential social media site in the world. If your company is supporting a certain cause or involved with a charity, share the news with proper images mentioning why you are doing it, how long you have been involved with this cause, and don’t forget to mention the group of people who are going to get benefited because of this. It is not necessary that you get involved with a social cause every time, you can also support and promote the social causes with which you are not directly involved but have faith in them. Use your Facebook page in a responsible way, not merely as a marketing tool flooded with product information and offers. Think out of the box.
- Plan of Action for Twitter: Use your Twitter handle as a discussion platform for the social cause your company is engaging in or supporting. Post influential part of the project and seek suggestions or recommendations from your followers. Consumers appreciate when brands directly ask their suggestions and implement them in the social cause with which they are attached. It is a great idea to share the tweets of non-profit websites, relevant fundraising pages, or people involved with welfare causes. Add clear hashtags within your actual profile, in addition to your posts.
- Plan of Action for Instagram: Pictures can attract more attention than words and Instagram gives you the opportunity to fully exploit this notion. Instantaneously post the images of the welfare events your company supports or the donations you have made to the fund raising organizations. Keep in mind that your content should appear as if you are supporting the cause and not promoting your company. Consumers put more faith in the companies that are socially active and have positively contributed to the welfare of the people all around the world.
- Plan of Action for LinkedIn: People judge the authenticity and the professionalism of a brand based on how diligently they have maintained their LinkedIn profile. Given that, posting full details of the charitable cause your company has undertaken on your LinkedIn profile will get greater acceptability and recognition from the people
People Get Attracted To The Brands That Maintain Honest Online Perception
Since the beginning of civilization, honesty is the virtue that has been appreciated by people of all generations and in the modern age, it has become even more valuable because of its rarity. The prime quality consumers expect from brands is the honest online representation about their products and services. They want companies to act with integrity and responsibility without letting customers down.
- Build a Foundation of Authenticity: Does anyone really care whether the maker of their brand new laptop adheres to honesty at all times? The answer is “YES”. People do care about the integrity and authenticity a brand maintains in providing exact information and originality of their products and services. Consumers check the remarks and reviews posted by the users and how the company has reacted to their queries on their social sites. It has been noticed that brands which accept their faults and try to resolve the issues raised by the customers with due diligence, got valuable response from other customers. Consumers always search for honesty, authenticity and professionalism, and when they find all these characteristics in a company, they remain loyal to this brand for the rest of their life. Honest dealings with the customers and products is the mantra of success for big brands such as Apple, McDonald’s and Gucci.
- Timely Response: Social media fuel sky-high consumer service expectations, where every consumer wants a rapid reply of their queries. According to a study, consumers expect a brand to respond within an hour on Twitter. On Facebook and other social media channels, the response time could extend to the maximum of two days. Brands need to eliminate hold time and offer quick answers, fast solutions and rapid remedies to any of the queries made on their official social media profiles. Whether it is a negative feedback or a positive one, brands should consider both of them valuable. For the customer who has posted a negative comment, try to identify the cause of his/her dissatisfaction and ensure him/her an instant solution for their problem. A person who has praised your company, ask him/her about other things that they are expecting and areas of improvement. For instance, Airbnb is the company that has got immense popularity because of its quick-response characteristic.
- Showcase Accountability: Accountability of a brand matters a lot among the customers. In the current scenario, social media has brought a complete change in the consumer-brand relationships. Customers have become more sceptical and judgemental to a brand than they were even five years ago. Marketing techniques, selection of brand ambassadors and environmental responsibilities have become the criteria to judge the accountability of a brand. So, the companies that are willing to enhance their acceptability among the consumers must consider all these three issues very carefully.
Over the years, social channels have taken on the role of judging a brand’s professionalism, honesty, accountability and the level of customer service it offers. Social sites have become instrumental in shaping the thought of consumers about a particular company. For brands, different social platforms offer exciting opportunities to understand the complex consumer psyche and how they are reacting to their brand. It is a great chance for companies to receive correct feedback about a product, a marketing move or a new offering, and the ability to rectify mistakes. Take a look at the practices you should perform in the social world:
1. Stay away from making fun of your competitors as consumers disapprove this tactic most.
2. Instead of being politically correct try to be morally correct on your social views.
3. Avoid using derogatory remarks, slangs and negative comments.
4. Your posts should not sound self-promoting all the time otherwise your followers will lose interest in your social activities.
5. Empower your front-line social media strategists to solve customer problems right away.
6. Keep in touch with your regular clients and don’t forget to wish them on the important events of their life, for example, birthdays, anniversaries.
7. The social presence of your company must be human and not like a non-living machine.
8. Be more interactive and communicative on the social channels.
9 Show quick reaction and views to any important global events.
10. Consumers don’t prefer targeted messages of a company on the social arena so give up this idea.
It is predicted that the market will be driven by the requirements and demands of the consumers. That’s why companies like Google are making their services not according to their needs but according to the wants and needs of the clients. Social media could prove to be a game changer that brands can use to boost their presence by performing exactly the way their consumers want them to act.