10 Ways To Support Customers Through Social Media

Full social media

Research has shown that customers will do business with whomever they have a relationship with.  By using social media, a company can reach out and connect with their customers, and establish that ongoing relationship, long before the sale even happens.  
This keeps customers up to speed with your specials, upcoming events and trends.  Social media gives companies a valuable way to keep their finger on the pulse of customer opinion.  Most forms of social media can be used in conjunction with each other. While it is good to have some new information on different forms of media, most of these interact and can be used in conjunction with each other.  For example, Tweets, videos, and blogs can be repeated on Facebook for people to share. 

Customer service unfortunately tends to be a reactive process instead of a proactive. Too many times companies are running around trying to put out fires, instead of trying to make sure that the fires do not happen in the first place.  A company can help direct their image by how they present themselves online.  

1. Twitter, Instagram, Reddit etc.:

 These can be used for short news bursts and quick reminders.  Have an event coming up or is there an annual cycle deadline?  Send out quick reminders to your clients. Use a hashtag to get their attention. You can use this group to run marketing campaigns, contests, or other events to help encourage interaction.  There needs to be a minimum of 3 to 4 interactions on these a week, even if it is nothing more than “Aye Maties, it’s talk like a Pirate day!” These interactions make your company become more human to your customers.   

2. Facebook:  

Facebook can tie together several of your social media options.  There is now the ability to advertise and sell your products directly through the site.  Customer service reps can monitor posts, catch, and address negative client issues before they go viral.  Do you have a conference coming up?  Then put up an event on Facebook and promote it.  You can do membership promotion drives to get people to like your page.  Make sure that any content you post to this page is made public so your followers can share.  

3. YouTube: 

YouTube can be used for help or promotional videos. Clients can subscribe directly and be alerted to when you have added new content. Your channel can be linked to other social media accounts to help promote or even share. Make sure you balance out entertaining events with informational and promotional ones. Do you have a regular community service project?  Do you have programs that you sponsor?  Have video montages of your employees and clients having fun at these events mixed in with options that are more serious.  This will keep your channel relevant in your client’s mind, and gives you something to Tweet about.

4 LinkedIn: 

While this is mostly for professional networking, it can also be a way to connect with clients.  It allows clients to learn more about the people behind your brand, and allow them to network and relate.  

5. Message Boards: 

This allows customers to interact with each other, give tips, tricks, and suggestions for product usage.  These boards give you a chance to see how your customers are talking about your products and your customer service.  Sites such as Linked In have message boards where you can join, because this is a neutral site, your business is more likely to get unbiased feedback on what your customer’s needs are. 

6. Blogging/ Vlogging: 

With blogging, you can send reminders along with how to information about upcoming events.  Almost every business has some sort of cyclical event that comes certain times every year.  Events that generate call volume, or increased customer traffic.  One way to help manage this traffic is to have a regular feed that reminds clients. Use a video, and you can connect your clients to your YouTube channel. 

7. Webinars: 

Interactive classes where clients can ask questions and have the chance to see some of your products or services in use.

8. Newslink or RSS feeds: 

Clients can subscribe to RSS feeds or news blasts, that come either to their email or smart phones. These feeds can promote your latest YouTube video or the recent blog/vlog that you posted. 

9. BlogTalk radio: 

Regular broadcasts, can be as short as thirty minutes. Clients can replay these at any time, listen to them on their phones, computers, tablets or even IPods. This is your customer’s way to connect with you while they are on the go.  If you have a daily broadcast, you can do themed days, such as Maddening Monday, where your customers can listen to funny stories that you have gotten over the week through your tweets or other social media venues.  Testimonial Tuesday, where customers can share how your product has made their life better, etc. 

10. Review sites:  

This one is going to be your most visible form of interaction.  Customers are already using these sites to voice their opinion of your company.  Use this opportunity to persuade customers to come back for continued business.  

I bought a car from a dealership.  When the sales person was handing me my keys for the first time, he also handed me a coupon. If I placed a review on one of the listed sites, and showed them that review, I would be able to trade in the card for a free oil change.  Customers go to review sites such as Yelp or Google Guides when making decisions on who to do business with.  Since I had selected that dealership based on reviews that I had read, I had no problem leaving a review, and honestly, I never did cash in on my free oil change.

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