Today I came across this great article on AllFacebook.com on how social media is becoming more and more entwined with guest relations and customer service.
Customer Service Via Facebook, Twitter Becoming More Mainstream by David Cohen
I see this on a daily basis with the brands I manage. One quote stood out to me because I have actually said the same thing when I give presentations on social media:
“Your brand is no longer controlled by you: it’s controlled by the conversations your customers are having around you.”
The reason for this is because people just want to be heard and before, they had to write a letter or talk privately to the manager or call the company. Then came email but that was still private. Not satisfied partly due to probable lack of response to their complaint, customers are now taking their complaints public to Twitter and Facebook and lo and behold, we are listening. Or at least we should be as B2B and B2C brands. Is your company listening?
More importantly, are you responding? Various recent studies show that companies are NOT responding at rates of 90% or higher to Facebook posts customers are leaving on brand pages. How many of these are complaints that are being ignored?
I will write a longer post on how social media and customer service go hand in hand in the near future. In the meantime, I will leave you with this thought: the response can be more important than the actual issue so seize the opportunity!
Oh Myyy! by George Takei
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I read this not realizing Takei had already written an autobiography and that this was more of a follow-up based on his unprecedented rise in popularity through social media, especially through Facebook.
The book is still very personal but it takes you through his social media experience. As a social media manager, this was a happy surprise! I found myself highlighting a few good talking points and even though what he was talking about wasn’t new to me, I felt it was a great read and gave me some insights into social media engagement.
As a matter of fact, I come here recommending this book as a nice intro to social media engagement, even for business users. The thought process & strategy behind how Takei interacts with his fans on social media ring true across the board and his anecdotes can be used as the backbone for how businesses can get the most out of social media and increase their fan engagement numbers. He even delves into the Facebook mystery that is called EdgeRank. In short, Oh Myyy! is a good read for my fellow social media fans or for those of you starting to look into how to get your business started with social media.
Last month I was interviewed by MonkeyDish for an upcoming issue of Restaurant Business that focused on how restaurants use social media. The issue came out today and I am proud to say that two of my tips made it to their list of “Winning Strategies” for social media. I have copied the text below from the article written by Amanda C. Kooser and Amanda M. Westbrooks:
20. Allow negativity
While social media is a great venue for fans to express their love for a brand, it can also be a venue for frustrated customers to speak out in a very public way. The temptation might be to delete the feedback or respond in kind, but Elaine Mesker-Garcia, social media manager with Luby’s Fuddruckers Restaurants, cautions against that sort of reaction. “Don’t take things personally. Allow some negativity. You need to respond as kindly as possible to everyone,” she says, “Let them voice their opinion and respond to them. We’ve done a lot of service recovery that way. If they have a reasonable complaint, I want to show people we’re taking care of it.”
42. Get visual
Visual social media sites Pinterest and Instagram are full of buzz, but many restaurants have yet to explore their potential. Fuddruckers, however, has jumped right in with both services. “I always like to be an early adopter,” says social media manager Mesker-Garcia. “The Fuddruckers brand is very visual. Our fans love to post pictures of our burgers and themselves eating. I thought it would be a great way to engage with them.” Fuddruckers’ biggest Pinterest board is full of fan photos culled from pictures posted on Twitter and Instagram. Mesker-Garcia is aiming to post more of Fuddruckers’ own photos to Pinterest. Her top tip is to make sure your restaurant’s photos have your logo or some other branding. That way, when photos are repinned around Pinterest, the origin is still obvious. Over on Instagram, Mesker-Garcia likes to bring a personal touch to the service. “I search for the Fuddruckers hashtag on Instagram and I ‘like’ their pictures and leave them a comment and engage them that way,” she says.
I recommend reading the article in its entirety. There are some very good strategy tips listed, even if your business is not a restaurant!