The trend has been indicating for a while that customers expect their favorite brands to be not just responsive, but also active on social media.
As social media becomes further ingrained in the marketing and buying processes, small and midsize businesses will have to join larger, corporate brands on social media to meet customers where they’re already spending time.
Social media is gaining importance
As marketing techniques continue to shift away from physical materials and traditional marketing avenues, small businesses can transition to providing customer service through social media in order to have a real chance at remaining relevant in an increasingly technological society.
Brands that don’t want to or find it difficult to provide complete customer service through social media might opt instead to issue standardized responses to customer service inquiries received through social media pages.
Being unresponsive or unavailable on social media won’t be taken lightly by your customers. They now expect to see you representing your brand online, and when you’re not, it’s noticeable.
The younger your customer base is, the more it matters that you’re active on social media and able to solve customer issues quickly.
Exceptions to the rule
If your company doesn’t seem to be a good fit for social media, do a search of your competitors on the top social media networks. Are they active on social media? Do many people like and follow their page? How often do they post updates? If you monitor what your competitors are doing, you can evaluate whether or not investing in social media is the right decision for your small business.
Consider that sometimes, even unlikely businesses can be a hit on social media–a small town’s gas station can gather lots of likes and comments just by inviting community members and posting pictures of the store over the years.
When did customer service change?
Customer service has always been about getting the customer help as quickly and easily as possible. Companies always want to provide the smoothest and fastest experience for their customers. Using the phone, live chat, and email used to be enough in the world of customer service. When did being on social media become part of the equation? How important could it really be?
When new technology becomes available, customers want to use it and take advantage of the benefits. Telephones won out over telegrams, eBooks are presenting strong competition with physical books–now that social media is widely used and easy to access anywhere, customers expect the brands they use to be available to solve issues and complaints (as well as respond to praise and questions) on every social media network they use.
It’s easier and faster than email and it gives the benefit of social support and magnifying customer messages about brands to your networks.
When it comes to small businesses on social media, you get what you put in. Time and effort will yield new followers and engagement, while neglecting to provide branded company service through your social media pages will have the opposite effect.