Why are you using social media?

Before spending time and money on community management and recruiting a millennial to post cool words on Facebook, pause for a moment to ask yourself what your goals are for social media and if your communication is in line with customers’ expectations.

With over 19 000 business clients, Sprout Social have been studying social media use since 2010. Their highly-regarded quarterly surveys of over 1000 on-line respondents throw light on how and why social media is used.

Sprout Social’s Q2 2017 index indicates that answering your customers questions on Facebook or Twitter has a much more positive impact on their decision to buy than holding promotions and contests or being funny or cool. In their survey, 49% of respondents said that answering their questions would encourage them to purchase a product, while only 45% are influenced by promotions and 42% say they could be swayed by content providing educational information. So if your company’s real reason for being on social media is to encourage customers to purchase your goods and services, you should concentrate on using it for customer service as well as (if not more than) highlighting your brands personality.

The recently-released Q3 2017 Social index shows that social media is second only to in-person as a place where a consumer is most likely to address customer service issues. While 55% of people are likely to say something in-person, social media is close behind with 47%. Email is trailing with 42% and only 35% of people are likely to use the phone to complain. However, for Millennials 59% say they’d use social to address an issue, with in-person confrontations coming in second.

VoxNative asks you then whether you are closely watching your social media channels for questions and complaints? Are your customer service representatives using social media and if not, do you need to train them to do so? And, if you sell in several languages, are you making sure that all your clients are happy internationally. Making sure that you answer complaints on Facebook and Twitter promptly and positively, can swing your brand back from being seen as « heartless » or « difficult » to being seen as « helpful » and « positive ».