You may encounter clients that insist on running no other marketing campaign but social media for their websites. This is because social has become a big buzzword for online businesses – if you’re not into social marketing, you won’t be seen by your customers. What you have to make them realize is why social media won’t be enough if they want to see a rise in sales and achieve customer loyalty.
Raising Awareness is NOT Your End Game
Raising awareness may be one of your clients’ goals, but it is not their end game when advertising online. Their main goal is to generate more sales and ROI through their website. Social media is only beginning to see elements for businesses added to its features, and its main purpose remains to be raising awareness and maintaining engagement. It’s a great addition to your marketing funnel, and a great way of beginning to nurture your audience, but it should not be your only marketing scheme in place.
There’s no denying the importance of social media in your online marketing campaigns, though. Google is giving more credit to social signals, ranking websites with solid social media presence. With 80% of people researching about products and services before making a purchase decision, building brand presence and online reputation through social media isn’t an option; it’s a necessity. But done wrong, social media marketing could do more than just make your client’s brand part of all the marketing noise online – it can dent your client’s brand altogether.
Customer Support as a Partner for Social Media
While social media is great for interacting with your customers, it provides a more generic public interaction, one wherein you and your target market are just getting to know each other. Additionally, the activity generated on social networking sites are only temporary, and they need consistent upkeep if you want your clients’ social signals to remain high. Guaranteeing customer satisfaction and delivering quality service are the only ways to take your audience closer to purchasing.
Customer service marketing emerges as the ideal partner for social media marketing because:
- While you address the general audience in social media, you address and remedy individual concerns privately in customer service marketing; therefore, you provide more personalized insights;
- Consumers want real-time solutions, and while social media offers real-time updates, it also does not filter out noise. Dedicated customer service, meanwhile, allows you to reach your audience immediately after receiving a query or a request, and lets you address queries at once; and
- Satisfied consumers become brand ambassadors, generating more self-sustaining organic traffic and serving as a trusted and reliable source of recommendations by other potential customers.
Integrating Support into Your Social Media Strategy
Successful integration lies in your understanding that the integration process isn’t one way – combining social media and customer support is a mutually beneficial strategy. Companies like Zappos.com, Citibank, and other known brands successful at social media interaction and customer service have used several techniques. Here’s a list you can start with:
- Listen to what your target audience is saying.
As social media sites continue to evolve, more social activity tracking tools are made available at your disposal. Use these to know what your market wants, find new marketing opportunities, know when you should respond (and respond timely), and analyze any warning signals in order to address problems before they surface.
- Respond promptly, and in accordance with your customer service plan.
As mentioned earlier, customers want answers in real time. People today do not have the time to wait patiently for their concerns to be answered after a few hours – they want answers as fast as they can access information online. Monitor your mentions and assure your target audience that their concerns are all being noted and addressed one by one in order to build their trust, and have a contingency plan handy.
- Encourage existing customers to share feedback. This works multiple ways:
as part of raising awareness through social media, as part of listening to your audience and discovering what they want, and as a means of building up your online reputation.
- Accept and address criticism professionally.
Proper crisis management on social networks allows you to learn from consumers’ negative comments and help your clients improve their services. It also helps you gain more brand advocates and boosts online reputation. Monitor the posts of detractors and complaints from existing customers, and address these one by one very carefully.
Invest in making your social media marketing strategy more powerful with the help of customer support integration. Talk to us today to develop your strategy. Sign up for free and become our partner to get started. Keep checking back for more online marketing tips!