Whether you like it or not, social media is fast becoming a huge part of our lives and revolutionising the way we communicate. For example, in the first quarter of 2015, there were approximately 1.44 Billion active users on Facebook and considering there’s just over 7 Billion people on earth, that’s a serious figure that can’t be ignored! Which is why social media shouldn’t be brushed aside, particularly when it comes to the topic of business and customer service.
So, why is social media important to your business? Well for one, it increases brand awareness. By having a profile on a social media platform like Facebook or Twitter, you’re opening your business up to a huge audience and potential customers; think of it like the modern day yellow pages. If your business isn’t visible online, chances are many people won’t find you. It’s a great way of finding your target market too. On Twitter for example, searching specific topics, #hashtags and trends relating to your business will help you find your target market, making it easier to engage with them and potentially increasing your brand awareness online.
Once you understand your target market, you can start to shake up your online presence and customer base. It’s a good idea to share content relevant to your target market as it’ll help you engage and connect with them. Don’t be afraid to retweet trending content too as it’s a really easy way of getting your name out there. Sending out promo codes and offers always goes down well and that’s a sure-fire way of retaining customers as well as gaining new ones.
Social media is giving businesses the platform to actually engage with their customer’s first hand and in real time. It’s a great way of gathering feedback on your customer service and performance. The problem is that anyone can see this customer feedback, whether the comments are excellent or truly awful! And when it’s bad, customers don’t back with their comments, which is why it’s really important to sort it out ASAP!
A great example of online customer service feedback is the British Airways Twitter controversy from late 2013. A disgruntled customer bought a promoted Tweet and complained about the service he’d received from the airline company, which opened up the post to millions of people including many of the worlds’ media outlets and journalists, resulting in a PR disaster! The key thing to remember is to listen to what your customers are telling you and try to rectify it immediately online, that way your online business reputation and customer service will continue to flourish. You can learn the importance of great customer service through our Customer Service Excellence workshop at the University of Salford too!
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to utilising social media for your business. What’s clear though is that there’s no stopping the growth of the social media industry and businesses, big or small, should work on their online presence and revolutionize their customer service experience for the modern, tech savvy consumer.