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Why monitoring is key to using social media for customer service

Social media is all about communication. It’s an instrument that facilitates social behaviour online. It’s about engaging with your target audience and growing your network. Social media consists of many channels that make use of different forms of content to transfer ideas. The power of social media is that you can syndicate a single piece of magnetic content and it can reach thousands of people instantly.

Did you know that how your brand chooses to communicate on the social web, and what kind of content you share online with your target audience, increases your credibility and digital footprint online? But what and how are you going to communicate with your target audience on the social web?

You must have heard that any social media marketing strategy starts with a monitoring process for a very important reason. Everyone online is now seen as a citizen journalist where they speak their minds via social media. People use social media to socialize with friends and family online, but it can also be used to express your negative experience with a brand and or business. Bad news spreads like wildfire online and can easily snowball into losing customers and a damaged online reputation fast.

Having social media monitoring outposts helps you to proactively listen to the conversations going on online by filtering the content by keywords and phrases. When people use these selected keywords in their updates on the social web, you can be notified and then you can review the content. Take note that the mentions and conversations aren’t always negative, and you can use your “monitoring outpost” to find all the positive mentions about your brand.

If you want to utilize the power of the social web and put a process in place to use social media for customer service, how are you going to do this? What are you going to do when a customer mentions you in a negative update on the social web? Find below a couple of tips that can help you with this.

Social media as customer service

  • When you receive a negative comment or update online, make sure that you analyze and understand the problem before you respond. The web is public and it’s important to always be polite when you respond to any comments online.
  • When responding, repeat the problem or query back to the customer and assure them that you want to amend the problem. Not everyone wants to continue in a long conversation so keep it to the point. You can also offer them to move the conversation offline to email or telephone.
  • Once you understand the problem and how you can reach the person that left the comment, work on a solution. It might be a gift card, refund or just a simple explanation of how you can change your products/services to meet their needs.
  • Make sure that your resolution is also communicated via social media so that other people can see that your business takes customer service seriously and that you value their opinion.

Social media is all about engaging with your audience

All the social media channels available are designed to be social and drive conversation. Why not use all these channels to engage with people to make them aware of what you are offering and turn them into customers? Using social media as a customer service medium works wonders because all the social media channels can put you directly in front of your target audience. If you are making your target audience happy, they can spread the word about your business.

Author | Anton Koekemoer

Anton Koekemoer
I'm your friendly neighbourhood digital marketing specialist. I specialise in helping brands connect with targeted customers by enhancing their online presence through emerging web-based communication channels. I translate business objectives into comprehensive initiatives that focus on humanising brand identity while maximising measurable business results. More
  • This is a great article. I personally prefer using Hootsuite and Crowdbooster to monitor multiple social media accounts. Which tools would you recommend?

    I don’t think it’s realistic to recommend to companies and organisations to use all social media channels. The resources available determines the amount of time and effort companies will have to devote to social media. Each channel has its unique features – I think it’s important to take the nature of the company/organisation into account when the decision is made about which channels should be used as part of a customer service strategy (or marketing for that matter).

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