Engaging with customers on social media has become part of every customer experience strategy to drive sales and retain customers.
In this CX for Growth webinar, we explore the world of B2B SaaS social media with one of our partners, Chatdesk, a customer care platform that helps businesses increase conversions and provide a better customer experience through social and support channels. We sat down with Aneto Okonkwo, CEO and co-founder of Chatdesk, to discuss how you can leverage social media to grow engagement in your business and offer practical, easy-to-implement social media growth strategies.
At Intercom, we’re all about making internet business personal, and social media happens to be a big part of that. Not only does it feed into your brand’s reputation, but it drives engagement with current and potential customers and it happens to be a pretty good sales opportunity, as Aneto points out:
“People that ask questions present a pre-sale opportunity – around 10% of those will end up converting. You’re sitting on a gold mine of all these comments and DMs coming in. And by responding to them, you’re going to get people to convert”
Aneto Okonkwo, CEO and co-founder of Chatdesk
Still, social moderation can feel daunting, especially given that these public interactions can happen at any time. Settle in as we dive into the three main takeaways from this discussion.
What did we learn?
- Foundations of social moderation and conversation
- How to respond to customers on social media
- Using social media to strengthen relationships with customers
Foundations of social moderation and conversation
Every brand can be successful on social media. And every successful strategy relies on good, solid building blocks. When it comes to social moderation, the first thing you need to think about is which channels to be at. You don’t have to do all of them – in fact, you probably couldn’t even if you tried. There are just too many. Instead, focus your resources on the few channels that make the most sense for your audience and strategy:
“Know where your customers are and focus on those channels. If your customers are startups or startup leaders, Twitter is a better channel because a lot of startups and venture capitalists are on Twitter. If your target in America is Gen Z, you probably want to look at TikTok. If you’re a gaming company, maybe Twitch or Discord or Reddit”
Aneto Okonkwo, CEO and co-founder of Chatdesk
After choosing the right channels, you need to build your three foundations for success: processes, tools, and your team. You want to put together some guidelines and sample scripts based on your brand voice for a myriad of different scenarios such as issuing refunds, shipping delays, or cancellations. Those will help quickly address common customer questions or issues and save your team precious time to focus on other, more complex issues.
Then, you need to set up your tool stack to do social moderation. Intercom, for example, allows businesses to automatically route their Twitter messages right into your support team’s inbox – no more wasting time switching between tabs and checking for messages across multiple channels.
Finally, you’ll need to assemble your team. In the early days, it’s natural for co-founders to be responding on social media, and it allows them to be the stage for the brand voice and get first-hand knowledge of the questions their audience has and the issues their customers face. As you grow, however, you need another strategy. And if you’re dealing with a lot of activity, you can even use tools like Chatdesk to help you manage all these different channels 24/7.
“As the company scales, you start to see a lot of repetition of the issues and the questions. Maybe you want to bring in an intern, typically someone under the marketing team, and any customer support-related issues can get escalated to the person or team who solves those”
How to respond to customers on social media
The first rule? Respond as fast as possible.
“A study from Twitter shows that when a brand responds to a customer’s tweet in less than six minutes, the customer is willing to pay almost $20 more for that brand in the future. They were actually able to quantify how fast responses drive more revenue for your brand”
Then, be as personalized as possible. Sure, certain messages or requests are so simple that templates and sample replies make a lot of sense – why dwell on such basic issues? However, comments are public, and it’s easy to see when you’ve been given the same cookie-cutter response as everyone else. Social media presents the perfect venue for acknowledging someone’s concerns, so take advantage of it and use personalization to show them you care about their satisfaction.
And pro tip: if you’re using a bot, let your audience know. Nowadays, designers can craft pretty advanced, human-like bots that appear to have a personality and can even be humorous or show gratitude. But although automated support is a great first touchpoint to solve some of the most basic issues and it sure is fun to see a bot “crack a joke”, they should immediately announce themselves for what they are – there’s a lot to be lost when people feel like they’ve been fooled.
And finally, empathy:
“Sometimes, when customers reach out on social media, they’ve already tried to email you or call you. They’re getting desperate, they’re getting anxious, and that’s why they’re going to this channel. You want to treat each customer carefully and with empathy so the interaction doesn’t go the wrong way, or worse, go viral”
Remember to keep things light and positive. Avoid using the imperative or extremely negative expressions, rely on softening words or modal expressions such as “could you give me more details?” and take advantage of positive adjectives and adverbs whenever possible. And lastly, make sure your team is on the same page when it comes to negative or cynical messages, especially if they’re trolls.
Using social media to strengthen relationships with customers
As we’ve mentioned, the comments and DMs you get are always opportunities for conversion. Whether they’re asking about a particular product or the brand’s stance on animal testing, around 10% of them will end up converting.
“Social media is going to continue to grow and be an important acquisition channel for brands because it’s the most cost-efficient and most direct, targeted way to acquire customers”
But social media is not just about converting new customers. It’s also a great place to invest in creating long-term relationships with them. Recently, a brand Aneto really likes, Storyworth, which makes it easy to create a book or memoir with stories from a loved one, launched a campaign where they asked their customers to share their favorite traits about their mothers. The result was quite powerful:
“I was really impressed by how many people were sharing a lot of heartwarming stories and they got thousands of comments on these posts. It’s getting people to share, but it’s also helping people engage with the brand, which is good for the company. That’s an amazing way to use social media”
Creating a hub where customers can share their experiences is a surefire way to build a good reputation and signal the company’s commitment to its customers. Even when comments are a bit negative or cynical, you can turn even the sourest of comments into a good customer experience.
At the end of the day, if you want to drive engagement and build better relationships through social media, you have to focus on these connections and conversations. By meeting your customers where they are, responding to their messages as quickly as possible, offering a personalized experience, and showing empathy – particularly when shit hits the fan you can drive conversations that increase customer happiness, brand loyalty and help you build long-term relationships.
What other advice does Chatdesk have for businesses?
- Start moderating when you start advertising: As soon as your company starts running ads on social media, you need to start moderating your social comments and your DMs. Why would you invest in a channel if you’re not planning to follow up on it?
- Be authentic: It can be tempting to buy followers or likes, but not only does that defeat the purpose of engaging with your audience and driving sustainable growth, people can usually tell fake profiles and comments apart, which can tarnish your brand’s image, and it will ruin your engagement rate.
- Create more relatable content: Forget expensive equipment and highly-polished content. In the end, customers engage more with content that feels more real and casual.
- Partner with influencers: Find influencers who reach your target demographic to help you get the word out about your brand. After all, which do you trust better: a branded, highly-produced ad or someone you follow and trust sharing their opinions about a product they like?
If you need help scaling your support team and driving conversions on social media, get in touch with Chatdesk to learn more about their machine-learning-powered solution.
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