5 popular beliefs on social media that you need to forget…

#1: Going on social media might encourage people to say bad things about me

#2: Social Media is not relevant to my sector

#3: I’m going to block/delete negative comments on my social pages

#4: Customer Service doesn’t belong on social media

#5: To build a community on social media, I just need to be spontaneous and post nice pictures

Does this sound familiar?

Here are a few insights which might help:

#1 Yes! Social Media is scary…

…because it’s viral and anyone can say anything.

But here’s the reality: This is what’s happening whether you have a social media presence or not. Hiding from the discussion is not going to change what people say so the best way to handle social media is to become a part of it.

But hold on, it’s still important to get it right!

#2 Your sector does not determine if you are legitimate on social media – your audience does.

Of course, your sector is going to dictate potential constraints to your communication on social media but it’s the way in which you want to address your customers that will be decisive.

Be it Retail, Pharmaceuticals, Insurance, Banking, Travel, FMCG … this applies to every industry:

Do your customers constantly seek out more information on your products or services?

Can the customer journey be simplified thanks to social?

How do your customers share their experiences?

What counts for your customers in customer service?

These questions will help you decide which platforms you want to invest in and which strategy to apply to each of them.

But here it comes… when you open your pages, your customers will express themselves and you need to be ready.

#3 Negative comments are part of the social customer experience.

So blocking them or refusing to see them would be like trying to ignore arguments in a romantic relationship: it’s a recipe for disaster! In fact, it can even enhance your customers’ dissatisfaction and push them to express themselves outside of your pages, in places where you can neither control what they are saying nor interact with them.

So embrace negative comments by responding to them in the right way and you can hopefully turn bad experiences into neutral or even good ones– and in so doing build a community… Is it all starting to make sense?

#4 Social Media could be considered in CRM terms as the love-child between email and chat, allowing instantaneity, privacy and personalization – but with added community – and should be handled as such.

As we know, people are already expressing themselves on social media and are expecting answers from your brand on this channel.

So if you play it right, your social page can become the storefront of your customer service excellence and even help you generate more sales. In the best of cases, it can even contribute to build so called power-user communities who will help you leverage presence on social media.

However, if you don’t treat social media as a customer service channel and instead reply to all questions and complaints with a default-answer redirection to email, you might generate frustration and end up making social media a new source of bad experiences.

#5 Building a community needs to both respond to your clients’ most urgent needs and inspire new users to come and visit your page.

Spontaneity is good as a general guideline, but it needs to rely on clear ground rules for it to work, which need to stem from a clear strategy.

Having customers follow your page is the social equivalent of them subscribing to a loyalty program.

Here are the top 3 main customer expectations, which, in my experience, you can’t ignore when growing a community:

  • Gaining access to discounts and exclusive deals and receiving regular updates on the brand
  • Benefiting from a privileged contact with the brand – for example in case of a problem with a product or service
  • Create a personal, strongly experiential bond with the brand and the brand’s universe

Your community management strategy needs to reflect and respond to these expectations – and that’s how you grow your community.

Feel like finding out more?

Please feel free to reach out: @tweetinmarianne