Using Social Media for Customer Service

Using Social Media for Customer Service

Using Social Media for Customer Service

in light of many big brands leaving social media, we look into why they should maybe stay

 

There is no denying that social media has changed the way we interact with businesses online a great deal. So why are so many leading brands running away? 

Gone are the days when we would tolerate delayed responses to any complaints or queries. We are now (for the most part) ruthlessly impatient people with short attention spans and the power to quite publically throw our toys out of the pram if we are unhappy. What this means for businesses is that it is more important than ever to recognize both the potential and challenges that this offers.

With Lush announcing this week that it is removing some of its channels from social media, now is the perfect time to debate the pros and cons of using social media for customer service.

Reaching your customers through social media

With more and more time being spent on social media, it is fast becoming one of the key platforms for finding out about new businesses. Sharing, reviewing and interacting with products and posts on social media can have real sway when it comes to influencing purchasing choices. In fact, consumers are 71% more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals. Perhaps more impressive is the fact that when companies engage and respond to customer messages on social media, those customers end up spending 20% to 40% more with the company.

In order to make sure that you are reaching these customers and that they are having a positive experience with your company, it is important to think about the path that they follow when interacting with your business and ensuring each touch point is a good one.

This begins with making sure there are links on your social pages to your website and that there are clear avenues for people to contact you if they have any questions or concerns. When these have been voiced it is important that a response is forthcoming. As mentioned before, generally speaking, patience is not a strong point in today’s online world with 42% of consumers expecting a response on social media within 60 minutes.

 

The challenges of social media

This leads us to the two main challenges of reaching customers through social media:

  1. It can be time-consuming
  2. Interactions aren’t always positive

Replying to multitudes of comments, replies and complaints on social media can be a full-time job and unlike the more closed-door nature of conventional complaint management over the phone, on social media, it is there for the world to see.

Building an online community does take a lot of time and effort and combined with the decline in organic reach on social media, can be difficult to fully implement with many businesses.

Done right, social media can provide an unbeatable platform for humanising your business and creating brand advocates. At its worst, social media can be a hub of negativity directing more eyes to the bad sides of your business.

Eighty-nine per cent of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience. If that statistic doesn’t get you thinking about how good your customer service system is, I don’t know what will.

 

How to navigate the tricky world of customer interactions on social media

Though it is not without its challenges, we are firm believers that businesses should be part of the conversation on social media. When big brands such as Whetherspoons take their profiles offline it only opens the door for other businesses to take their place.

With this in mind, here are a few tips to help you build an online community whilst avoiding the potential pitfalls that other businesses sometimes fall into.

Social Media Customer Service Wetherspoons

Social Media Customer Service Wetherspoons

Remember that people are always watching

One thing to remember with messaging or interacting with people online is that it is, or can easily be made public. Encourage people to private message so you can get more details about their case and keep potentially harmful comments out of the public eye.

Additional note: Even direct messages can be screenshotted so don’t think that makes you ‘safe’. Paranoid yet?

 

Don’t be a robot

If you want to stand any chance of being noticed on social media you have to stand out. One of the best ways to do this is to inject a bit of personality and authenticity into your accounts. I may sound like a broken record but Innocent is a great example of this. Their comment sections are filled with humorous, personalised messages and act as their own method of encouraging people to engage with posts.  

 

Have a system to respond to notifications quickly

Make sure that you have notifications turned on on your social media platforms so you are quickly notified if people leave a comment or message you. If the sheer volume of responses becomes hard to manage then it is time to get some help or splash out on a tool like Sprout Social which has a smart inbox to make it easier to respond to any important messages.

Sprout Social Social Media Customer Service

Sprout Social Social Media Customer Service

Promote your advocates

Positive feedback is invaluable when it comes to promoting your business. Think back to when you last bought something online. Reviews from members of the public can be much more persuasive than what a company says about itself.

With this in mind, creating a system to encourage and promote feedback is important not only in showing off your business, but also showing your customers that you appreciate their feedback.

At the end of the day, if you are doing good work on and offline, people are likely to be talking about your brand. By being an active part on social media you can be a part of that conversation when it is happening. This allows you to help shape customer impressions of your business, increasing visibility and brand loyalty along the way.

If you aren’t doing all of these things, someone else surely will.

 

Want to find out more about social media, including dealing with customer complaints online? Check out our Social Media Strategy course, led by me, Ben Hawkes. Over and out!

 

Ben Hawkes

Ben Hawkes

Digital Creative

Follow us on social media for blog updates and more kick-ass learning content to grow your digital skills!

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Making The Most of LinkedIn For Business

Making The Most of LinkedIn For Business

Making The Most of LinkedIn For Business

the worlds professional social media platform and what you, as a business, can do on it

LinkedIn is one of the largest professional networks around, and with a growing user based of businesses and individuals aroudn the world, there is plenty to get excited about.

Whether you are new to the platform or simply looking for some tips and tricks to help make sure you are getting the most of it, we are here to help.

Differentiating between businesses and people

On Facebook, pages and people are distinctly separate – and business pages don’t directly rely on a company’s employees or business partners. At least not to the degree that they do on LinkedIn.

Some of the strongest LinkedIn pages I have seen are ones where the entire workforce act as ambassadors for the business; promoting their own work, alongside information that interests them from within the business itself.

On LinkedIn, there really is much more power given to individual profiles when compared with business profiles – and this is something owners of those pages should take note of.

Create a culture of sharing…

The award for most wishy-washy title goes too…

Following on from the previous point, if you want to create a culture where your employees share updates on their page and help to advocate your business for you, the best way is to educate and motivate them.

Keeping your staff trained on how to use their own LinkedIn is a mutually beneficial practice. It helps them to improve their own public profile, whilst providing them with tools to share your business news and updates with a wider audience.

Our advice is to host a training course to teach staff about the platform; one that hopefully energises and motivates them to use it, whilst making sure that this it is not a job requirement.

Update your profile regularly

This is a fairly self-explanatory one, so we won’t spend much time on it. If you want to be bigger on LinkedIn, make sure you put in the leg work and post regularly.

The recommended amount to post isn’t set in stone, but we would recommend at least 3 posts per week – with more time spent engaging/sharing commenting on other user’s and businesses’ posts.

Become a thought leader

An area where LinkedIn stands out is being one of the best platforms for thought leadership.

At the end of the day, people buy people, and LinkedIn is all about providing a place where people can sell themselves (Not like that. Don’t make it weird).

The best ways of raising your profile as a thought leader on the platform is to create engaging content that shows your knowledge and experience. LinkedIn articles, infographics, photos from interesting locations and interviews or collaborative pieces with other influential people are just a few of the routes you could follow to build authority.

Disclaimer: being a thought leader doesn’t mean being a know it all or a show off. No one likes a show-off, Karen.

LinkedIn ads

Honest talk now. LinkedIn ad manager used to be an absolute pile of crap.

Thankfully, after several updates, including a few in the last couple of months, LinkedIn advertising has become a much more user-friendly endeavour. If you haven’t used ads on the profile before, there hasn’t been a better time.

With the most comprehensive business professional targeting available, it should be an absolute go-to when you want to target people in certain roles/industries/company sizes etc.

Tailor posts for the platform

If you already have a pretty comprehensive Facebook and Twitter business profile and want to include LinkedIn, please don’t just roll the same strategy out.

LinkedIn is a beast unto itself and treating it the same as Facebook will be to your (and your followers) detriment.

The best way to think about LinkedIn, particularly for businesses, is as a networking event. There is a certain etiquette at networking events:

  • Don’t harass people
  • Don’t be self-interested
  • Don’t eat all the canapes

There may be fewer canapes on LinkedIn, but the fundamentals are the same. Keep it authentic, focus on the people and achievements of your business, and make an effort to get to know the people around you.

LinkedIn groups

This part of LinkedIn has commonly been abused by people’s self-interests, but there are good LinkedIn groups out there! The best thing about groups on LinkedIn is that there is usually a huge variety for almost every industry.

Try joining one with a relatively small but active audience, and actually engage with the people in it. Rather than being the person at a networking event that gives business cards to people without even saying hello, try to be the person who gets to know the others in the room and actually forms a meaningful connection.

Extra hint: Another plus of joining a group is that it allows you to add people to your network who aren’t 2nd or 3rd connections. You’re welcome.

Paid account types

Besides the typical free LinkedIn account, there are a number of paid options available.

LinkedIn premium

LinkedIn premium works the same as the free version but gives you more visibility and information. Instead of capping the number of people who visited your page, you can get much more insight into who is viewing your profile and what they searched for.

You also get access to InMails which are a nifty emailing tool which lets you message people outside of your network. You only get a few of these per month depending on your profile level so make sure you use these wisely and not just to tell Borris Johnson he is a wanker.

Sales Navigator

The other main account type for LinkedIn is Sales Navigator. This is a tool which sits almost separately to LinkedIn, and gives you a variety of options which make it easier to find and capture new leads. You can save and track people as leads, access comprehensive searching options to find new contacts, and you also get more InMails.

It can be a little pricey, and there are options to add more people and create a business team account, but it’s certainly something to look at if you are serious about creating leads on LinkedIn.

Want to know more?

Whetted your appetite and want to know more about LinkedIn? Giant Campus offers a comprehensive course to selling yourself on LinkedIn, which you can check out here. In the meantime, join our network on LinkedIn and let us know any tips we missed!

Ben Hawkes

Ben Hawkes

Digital Creative

Follow us on social media for blog updates and more kick-ass learning content to grow your digital skills!

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Creating Video On A Budget

Creating Video On A Budget

Creating Video On A Budget

making video has never been easier, and you don’t have to be a whizz kid to know how

You don’t have to have thousands of pounds to make a banging piece of video content – in fact, you already have the tools necessary.

If you’ve been paying attention to the marketing world over the past few years then you will have witnessed the meteoric rise of video content. In 2018, 63% of businesses said they were using video as part of their marketing strategy, with 83% saying that video marketing gives them a good ROI.

And the stats don’t end there. Research has found that a product video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80%, while you’re 53 times more likely to rank highly on SERPs if you have video embedded in your website.

Unfortunately, video has a bit of a reputation for being an expensive move. And while it can be, there are tons of tools and techie devices out there designed to make it easier for everyone to create video content than it has ever been before. Check out some of our tips for creating your own videos on a budget.

Prep is the key

Image result for video planning

When it comes to making video on a budget, preparation is the key. If you plan properly, and know what you need to achieve, then you’re less likely to end up going massively over budget, or massively past your deadline.

To start, decide what the point of the video is. Why are you making it? Is it to launch a new product, give a company update, or do you simply want to create a bit of buzz around the brand? Understanding this from the get-go will help you stay on track, and achieve your goals.

Next, make sure that your plan aligns with your brand voice. Branding makes all the difference; you want your videos to look like they come from you – even if they’re done on a budget. If you’re a lighthearted brand, then make sure the video tells that story. If you’re authoritative and knowledgeable, then the same applies.

Dror Ginzberg, CEO of online video creation platform Wochit, said: “As with any form of marketing, you need to define a clear brand style, or build upon your existing style. Is your video meant to be lighthearted and funny? If you don’t know, then your audience won’t know either.”

Top up on tools

If you want to make professional videos quickly and on a budget, there are a number of apps that can help you do just that. Clips and MoShow are two of our favourites.

MoShow is for Android and Apple, whereas Clips is for Apple users only, but both provide easy to use video editing software that can help you to create epic content. Even the most inexperienced videographers will be able to download the apps and create some interesting videos in a matter of minutes. MoShow, in particular, has a range of different templates, which means all you need to do is upload separate images or video clips, add text, filters or stickers, and hit download.

Don’t believe us? Give it a try and let us know what you make! It’s as easy as a Sunday morning, and just as satisfying.

Getting equipment

The wonderful thing about creating videos is that most people have smartphones with perfectly good cameras sitting in their pockets at all times. Tasnim Bhuiyan, head of social content for RYOT UK and Tumblr, said: “Some of the most viral pieces on the web have come from a shaky phone camera, simply documenting a funny moment or a touching, authentic interaction. The main question every video maker has to ask is “why would anyone share this?’”

If you do want to give your videos a bit more of a professional shine however, splashing out on some basic lighting and sound equipment can be a great investment. Costs for this can be in the double digits, though, so if all else fails, use nature’s best lighting source. No, not Jason Statham’s forehead. The sun.

Get resourceful

Image result for filming

Once you’ve topped up on tools and equipment, see what you can get for free. After all, who doesn’t love getting something for free?

Depending on the style of your video and what you want to achieve, you could scour the local area for locations, or rope in friends, family members or colleagues to make their acting debut and save you hiring people.

Want to learn more?

If you want a little more help and advice making awesome content, then we have a great training course at Giant Campus which helps do exactly that. Check out the details about ‘Making Creative Content’ on our website and get in touch if you want to find out more.

Ben Hawkes

Ben Hawkes

Digital Creative

Follow us on social media for blog updates and more kick-ass learning content to grow your digital skills!

3 things for brick & mortar businesses to do to quickly get online

3 things for brick & mortar businesses to do to quickly get online

3 things brick & mortar businesses can do right now to get online From Google My Business and local search, through to social media and website build... [wpseo_breadcrumbs]It's hard to know where to start as a physical business getting online, making digital and...