Social media, for better or for worse, is here to stay. The only thing that changes is what social media platforms your customers are using and the techniques you can use to keep your audience engaged. Let’s look at the role of social media in customer service.
Your Lowest Cost Marketing Tool
Social media marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing tools available. Email marketing has a better return on the investment, but it requires curating email addresses and then maintaining email lists. Social media marketing allows you to organically grow your audience without having to maintain email lists. Furthermore, viral marketing can beat email marketing in terms of ROI. That’s why so many companies try to create funny or outrageous viral video clips.
Study social media sharing of your content or the most popular posts about the company, and you may identify your biggest brand ambassadors and those whose negative complaints are hurting your brand. Then take appropriate action, whether praising those who are already promoting the company or correcting problems that led someone’s criticism of the company to go viral.
The Best Source of Customer Data
Forget focus groups and do “deep listening” through the comments and reviews your customers are already leaving on your company’s social media page. What are they complaining about? What are they praising? You’ll get far more detail and insight from this existing data set than you would a generic survey send to your user community. You’ll also see what customers are saying to each other, whether it is recommending a given product over another or complaining about the service at a given location.
Social media sites often allow you to integrate their account sign-on into your website. It gives companies like Facebook and Google more information about what their customers do on third party websites. And it simplifies account management for the website. It has a side benefit for Facebook and Google by giving people a reason to keep their account active, though they may not be using the social media site as much.
Where Your Greatest Security Threats Come From
Social media account creation is easy. Upload a photo, enter a name (fake or real) and get to work. This is why you can find dozens of fake accounts pretending to be various celebrities. Everyday people aren’t immune to this. An ex may create a fake account in the name of a former lover and post embarrassing comments in an effort to hurt their reputation or kill their chances of getting another job. Furthermore, scammers can mine social media pages to steal someone’s identity. This is why you need more advanced systems for verifying customer age than asking them their age and verification in the form of a valid credit card number. This is why the best age verification systems use liveness checks instead of allowing someone to upload a photo that may be copied from the identity theft victim’s social media account. Good facial recognition systems will also compare this live picture or video to the scanned image of the driver’s license or passport, preventing someone who merely resembles the subject from using their ID to buy merchandise.