Caring for your brand in the social media universe

Social media marketing vs social media support; how your call center fits into your social media strategy.

Two-thirds of the world’s internet users are now on social media, and they’re talking about your brand. Listening to what they’re saying is important, but it’s even more important to join the conversation. By responding to tweets, Facebook posts, blog musings, and forum threads, you can address small issues before they become big, help customers resolve problems, correct misperceptions, and polish your brand image. Taken together, those actions help you attract and retain customers and boost your bottom line.

The Value of Professional Customer Service

So where do you start? You can invest in a social media monitoring service or you can license monitoring software. That’s how you stay on top of what consumers are saying about your brand, your competition and your industry. Some services also provide tools for measuring positive and negative sentiment and engaging with consumers. All that is useful. But be careful about “engaging”: It takes polished communications skills and a customer-service mindset to make and keep friends online. If people in your organization have the time and skill set to do that, and you want to invest in the service or software, you’re in great shape. If not, a call center that uses the listening tools and has representatives who are customer service experts can be a perfect partner.

Your call center might be a good fit for handling these customer service issues instead of an in-house marketing department or marketing agency. Global Response, for example, already helps clients listen to social media and respond promptly and professionally to customer support issues. One of our clients, a leading retailer of fashion clothing, is a great example. We monitor the company’s Facebook page and Twitter account and respond on their behalf. To resolve issues, we respond online to posts or even call customers. For instance, a customer ordered an item only to be notified it was on back order. She published an online post expressing her disappointment. We called her, explained the reasons for the back order status to her satisfaction, and helped her shop for another, similar product on the retailer’s website. She ordered and received that comparable product and remains a satisfied customer of our client retailer.

Protecting Your Brand Image Online

Of course, the social media universe is a lot bigger than just Facebook and Twitter. Your customers are expressing opinions on group or fan pages on social media sites, forums devoted to a single topic, forums that aggregate content from other sites, blogs, microblogs, and more. We use state-of-the-art tools like Radian6 to find those opinions, but more importantly, we use Global Response brand care specialists to respond. They know how to talk to customers, how to fix issues, and how to speak your brand like you do.

One last key distinction: You may already be using your marketing department or a marketing agency to market your brand via social media. Smart move—to be competitive, it’s a channel you can’t ignore. But you can’t ignore the customer service part of the equation, and that’s the service we offer. We’re customer support experts, and we can work in tandem with your marketing team to help you meet social media goals. They proactively market your brand, we reactively care for it online just as you would by expressing your brand personality, solving problems, and keeping customers happy. To make the most of your opportunities in social media, you need both kinds of expertise.

Here’s more information about Social Media Support at Global Response.

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