A Beginner’s Guide to Social Media Customer Support. What is social customer support? These brands also experience a 5.4 percent increase in social buzz, whereas brands without social customer service don’t experience any gains. At Hootsuite we have @Hootsuite_Help, which is run by our support team. Pro tip: Use Quick Search in Hootsuite to monitor keywords With Quick Search in Hootsuite, you can easily identify conversations happening around your brand and save them to your dashboard as a stream. Pro tip: Store reusable support content in Hootsuite If you have a Hootsuite Enterprise account, you can use the Content Library to store, organize, and share pre-approved social customer support content for your customers. If you need to assign a social message to a team member: Select Streams in the launch menu. You can route tickets to other team members and respond directly to social posts from Zendesk. Start by measuring team performance. You can get started by setting up sentiment streams in Hootsuite to track customer satisfaction over time.
Social media is one of the most effective channels for customer support in today’s digital world. Whether they have questions, complaints, or compliments, people are increasingly using social to connect with businesses.
While your brand may be well-versed in social marketing, it’s still easy to overlook the basics when it comes to social customer support.
If you have an effective customer support strategy for social media, you’ll have happier customers and an opportunity to increase revenue. This guide will show you how to get started.
What is social customer support?
Social customer support belongs under the umbrella of social customer service. The difference is that social customer support focuses primarily on support issues or service requests. For example, if someone has an issue with your product and reaches out on Twitter to ask about bug fixes, that’s social customer support.
A lot of marketing and sales opportunities on social media overlap with customer service, but aren’t support requests. So if you’re running a Facebook contest and participants want information about rules, a quick and helpful reply is an example of good customer service—but that’s not customer support.
Why your organization needs a social customer support strategy
According to a study by J.D. Power, 67 percent of consumers use social media for service requests. Brands that master social customer support can benefit in a variety of ways:
- Revenue growth—Brands that are great at social customer service will outperform brands that aren’t. According to a study by Aberdeen Group, companies delivering social customer service see an annual financial gain of 7.5 percent, versus only 2.9 percent for brands that don’t. These brands also experience a 5.4 percent increase in social buzz, whereas brands without social customer service don’t experience any gains.
- Customer loyalty—When someone enjoys a positive customer service experience with a business on social media, they are nearly three times as likely to recommend the brand. Meanwhile, more than 50 percent of consumers stop doing business with a company because of a bad customer experience.
- Build brand reputation—Social and online communities influence the purchasing decisions of approximately 74 percent of online shoppers. And addressing complaints on social can increase customer advocacy by as much as 25 percent.
How to get started with social customer support in 3 steps
1. Set up a dedicated social handle for customer support
Brands often have a separate handle on channels like Twitter to manage customer support requests.
At Hootsuite we have @Hootsuite_Help, which is run by our support team. This helps filter out support issues from our primary channel which we use to engage our audience with original and curated content.
If you decide to create a social channel strictly for customer support, be sure to include the handle in your brand’s other social profile bios so people know where to reach out for support-related requests.
You can’t be on all channels for support, so it’s best to choose one or two that best suit your needs. To get inspiration from awesome customer support accounts on Twitter, check out Spotify, Warby Parker, and Telus’ dedicated support channels.
2. Designate a social customer support lead
If you’re committed to offering support on social media, you should elect or hire a dedicated team member to run those channels.
Before hiring an employee to run your social support program, you should:
- Understand the unique skill set required
- Figure out what you’re looking for (what channels you want managed, how often you want posts published, etc.)
- Identify how they will work with other support members
3. Create social media guidelines
Social customer support has different challenges and opportunities than social marketing. It’s important that you have social media guidelines dedicated to customer support that align with your company values. That document should cover things such as: