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The Social in Social Media

Social media has really exploded in recent years.  It’s good to see that it has expanded from new album updates and friend requests to a way for the contact center to connect with its customer base.  That being said, some of the social media posts I’ve seen aren’t, well…social.  In order for any social media platform to work, whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, there are a few things to remember.

Be Social

Webster’s defines “social” as “relating to or involving activities in which people spend time talking to each other or doing enjoyable things with each other.”  That means the communication has to be a two-way street; it’s an interaction.  You can’t just share what you want the public to hear and avoid potential landmines by not soliciting feedback; customers need a venue to speak their mind.  Customers are going to share their thoughts somewhere, whether it’s on your platform or on a blog or in chat room.  That can’t be avoided.  But by encouraging two way interaction, companies can gain more control over the conversation and show customers they value their opinions.  It’s not always going to be pretty and customers won’t always be complimentary, but if you really want to experience the “social” in social media, let customers say what they want to need to say. 

Have Dedicated Resources

Whether we like it or not, social media is now a customer contact method,  just like your phone queue or email distribution…and customers expect that someone will answer their questions.  There needs to be a team of representatives whose sole job is to look for customer feedback on Facebook, Twitter, and any other avenue to identify and address customer issues.  Just because representatives won’t be attached to a headset doesn’t mean their job is any less important.

Get Out In Front Of Issues

Any time a celebrity does anything newsworthy, social media usually breaks the news, and it’s usually old news by the time the 5 o’clock news comes on.  By then, the public has already formed their opinion no matter what the facts are. Now, replace the celebrity’s face with your company logo.  The same thing can happen.   Anything your company does is magnified 100 times on social media. As soon as someone hits “send”, their post is broadcast to the universe, so there is no use in avoiding the issue.  Rather than delaying or burying it, get together with your management and marketing teams to craft an appropriate response.  Explain what happened and what you are doing to address the situation.  The “ignore-it-and-it-will-go-away” strategy will only allow the issue time to fester and grow, and by then, it’s too late.

Jack, Be Nimble…

Remember MySpace?  Probably not.  Then you probably don’t remember that at its peak, MySpace had over 100 million users; that’s a lot of people. Now, MySpace has gone away.  Customers will move to the next hot social media medium faster than you can type it in the address bar, so your social media plan has to be able to adapt.  If you are going to take social media seriously, you have to keep pace with the changing landscape.

Social media can be a great way of interacting with your customer base if you are dedicated to keeping it “social”.  Keep that in mind and follow these simple steps, and you customer will be hitting the “like” button when it comes to your customer service

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