I’m a keen proponent of businesses engaging on Social Media, and by engaging I don’t just mean posting content to your various platforms and then thinking your marketing job for the day is done. I mean really engaging with your audience. I see a lot of businesses that neglect the simple aspects of Social Media engagement, they post to Facebook each day, but never reply to comments, rarely if ever respond to ‘Posts by Others’ the same can be said about their Twitter presence also, just posting and never retweeting or replying and very very rarely looking for opportunities to extend beyond there own Feed.
Going beyond SEO, Branding and Marketing, new research has found that Social Media engagement can increase the purchase intent of your audience. If we think about it increased purchase intent is of course the whole aim of your Sales and Marketing output.
What should you be doing with your Social Media?
Remember that Social Media is not just about pushing your marketing message, its a two way conversation. Its part customer service, part sales, part marketing, part branding and you really need to work on all these parts to have a successful return on your Social Media involvement. But what we are going to concentrate on in this article is how you respond to your audience on Social Media and the value that brings.
We all know that good customer service is key to good customer experience, but what Bazaarvoice.com found is that good customer service on Social Media really does affect how your audience perceives your business. Here are some of their top findings that should have any business owner or Social Media manager listening:
- Audiences that saw a brand’s response to a negative review, their overall opinion of the product and their intent to purchase more than doubled compared to when they saw a negative review without a brand response.
I’ve often worked with businesses that have deleted or ignored negative comments on Social Media, or in worst case scenarios responded negatively in return like it was a personal account and not a business. This finding just shows that responding to to negative comments has a benefit far beyond the simple customer service angle.
2.When brands responded to a review in which the product owner misused or demonstrated a significant misconception about the product, shoppers who saw the brand response were 186 percent more likely to purchase than those who didn’t.
We all probably had customer comments like this where the user blames your product for there own incompetence or where the issue is down to the good old didn’t RTFM. By offering not just good customer service in resolving the issue in your response also go that little bit extra to offer guiding explanations on how to properly use the product, this can also help clarify future customers who could be checking comments and reviews for a similar issue.
3.Brand where responses offered to refund, upgrade, or exchange a disgruntled customer’s product for a different model, meant shoppers were 92 percent more likely to purchase than shoppers who saw no response.
Again here it comes down to actively displaying good customer service to build your customers purchase intent. I often advocate taking trickier problems and customers off-line by responding to comments with an invitation to resolve the issue via email or direct message. Once the issue is resolved though don’t just leave it at that, go back to the post and add an update comment, not so much for that particular customer but more for everyone else – Hey we fix your issues!
So here we clearly see that Social Media engagement is a massive opportunity not just for customer retention but also when it comes to potentially new customers.