Social media has revolutionized the way customers interact with brands. In the past, customers would have to call or visit a company’s store to interact with a brand, voice their opinions or highlight problems with a product. Now, with the click of a button, customers can share their thoughts and experiences with your business. And their voice travels far beyond the walls of your store.
According to we are social there are more than 4.55bn active social media users globally, which is almost half of the global population. With such a vast usage, brands cannot afford to overlook the impact of social media on the customer experience (CX). Social has become a preferred channel of communication and an indispensable part of CX strategy. Today, social media is increasingly used to connect with customers, provide important product or service information and support and create a community around your brand.
However, this instant connection needs to be carefully managed. Social media creates a forum in which your customers can give genuine and honest feedback to your brands, invaluable information that you can use to improving the brand experience further. But customers may be wary of engaging with a brand that has a lot of negative social commentary.
A strong social media presence creates a positive customer experience, building your brand reputation and supporting brand loyalty. But, how can a brand begin to foster this relationship and optimize social media for a better customer experience?
Social media optimization (SMO) is using social media channels to manage and grow a brand’s presence and reputation by proactively and positively engaging with its customers in social channels. This includes assessing and monitoring the brand and customer engagement with the brand on channels including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The main goal of SMO is to generate awareness about new products and services, upcoming events and respond to customer queries or issues in a timely manner so that customers feel always connected to the brand.
Social media is a quick and easy way to connect with customers and create a relationship of trust and loyalty. If your customers are talking about a brand on a public forum and your brand is not part of the conversation it sends a message that your brand is indifferent to your customer’s needs and preferences. In addition, social media allows customers to post reviews and feedback about their experiences with a brand, which can enable other potential customers to make informed decisions about whether or not to use that brand. It also provides an opportunity for brands to reach their target audience and promote their products and services in the channel of their preferences.
There is no doubt that social media has changed the way we interact with businesses. We can now reach out to companies directly through their social media channels and expect a near-instant response. This accessibility fits seamlessly into consumers lives, but it can be challenging for brands to manage their social media presence 24/7.
Businesses must be prepared to handle both the positive and negative interactions and be ready to deliver a consistent experience when it comes to social media and customer experience. To successfully manage their online presence, brands must have a plan in place that sets out how they will reach out to proactively engage their audience as well as how to respond to negative feedback as well as the tools and people necessary to put those plans into action.
Customer experience is the cumulative result of each interaction a customer has with your brand from shopping in your store, to buying on your website and reaching out to customer service with an issue or concern. CX includes all touchpoints, from the initial awareness of a company or product to post-purchase support and, increasingly, social media plays a role at every step in the journey.
A recent study found that social media has a direct impact on customer experience, with 78% of respondents saying that their experiences on social media have influenced their purchase decisions, meaning must focus on providing a positive social media experience for their customers.
1. Research your audience: Knowing your customers is the first step to delivering world-class CX. Social intelligence can turn online conversations into a wealth of consumer insights, discovering demographics and enabling the creation of micro-segments. People speak freely on social media platforms, openly express their lived experience of products and services. This provides brands with first-hand, unfiltered feedback. While positive feedback works as validation that the company is on the right track, negative feedback allows brands to get a clear understanding of customers’ pain points. Social listening can empower brands with data to rethink the strategy that is not working, address the pain points or uncover unmet needs.
2. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly: A large portion of social media users access platforms like Facebook and Twitter via mobile devices. Therefore, it’s essential that your website is optimized for mobile viewing. This means having a responsive design that scales seamlessly across different screen sizes.
3. Use social media to your advantage: Social media platforms can be used to your advantage when it comes to enhancing the customer experience. Use platforms like Twitter and Facebook to resolve customer queries and complaints in real-time. You can also use social media to proactively engage with customers and promote new products and services.
4. Personalize the customer experience: In the age of big data, brands have access to a wealth of information about their customers. This data can be used to personalize the customer experience and offer them relevant content and recommendations.
5. Invest in customer service: Customer service is an integral part of the customer experience. Invest in your customer service teams and equip them with the tools and resources they need to meet the needs of your customers. In fact, implementing robust social media service can see a reduction in costs, quicker response time and happier customers.
6. Build a strong personal brand: The strength of your brand can have a significant impact on the customer experience — but only if that brand has personality. Give your employees the freedom to express themselves online, and encourage them to build their own personal brands.
The rise of social media has had a profound impact on the way brands interact with their customers. In the past, customer service was primarily conducted through more traditional channels such as phone and email. However, social media has created new opportunities for brands to connect with their customers in a more personal and engaging way.
While traditional channels are still important, social media has emerged as a powerful tool for customer service. Brands that provide excellent customer service on social media are able to build strong relationships with their customers and create a loyal fan base. Customer experience encompasses all of the customer touch points from after the sale, including social media and advertising. When it comes to customer experience, social media impacts all customers hence brands must diligently focus on their social media strategy to up their CX game.
Social media provides a platform for customers to learn about your brand, share their opinions, give feedback and raise concerns – and it's up to businesses to listen and act. By engaging with customers on social media, you can build a better understanding of their needs and wants and deliver a better experience overall.At Startek, our transformation experts ensure your social campaigns and communities are performance-driven, brand-aligned and designed to nurture loyalty. Our award-winning social media approach leverages analytics and automation to deliver personalized CX. We work with brands from inception to maturity, as trusted partners, enabling you realize true value, experiences and business outcomes that meet your needs and exceed customer expectations. Learn More.