The easiest way to view social media management is to consider that it includes 3 major social media disciplines: social listening, social analytics and social engagement. Social listening is when you gather everything that is being said about your brand.
Social analytics help you understand all the social media chatter and relate it to possible business changes. Social engagement is the act of interacting, usually 1-on-1 but occasionally at scale, with customers over social channels. Most businesses take on social engagement to close the loop with customers on their issues.
The path to social media management
Companies often have multiple social media accounts on many different social platforms. They need to use social media management software and a social marketing team to stay on top of their social media presence.
Until recently, people tasked with social media management only focused on creating and executing plans to generate and post content. However, today’s consumers demand easy and non-disruptive customer support via social channels.
Social managers must schedule posts, respond to questions, manage communities and participate in conversations. Leading companies combine their social customer service effort with their social media management programs. Social customer service includes routing customer service issues to the right department, updating customers about outstanding issues and closing the loop with the customer by seeing issues through to resolution.
Grow to robust social listening
Ensuring you capture and process every mention of your brand, products and services is job one. When you listen completely, you have the chance to respond thoroughly. So first stand up a social listening program and ensure you get off to the right start.
Uncover business optimizations with social analytics
Use the data you gather via social listening to analyze how your customers and prospects feel and what they need from your business. Your goal should be to make sure you have confidence in the data you are looking at, so you’ll need a comprehensive and extendable social analytics effort to ensure you can keep up with the latest demands. Once you understand the data, you have the opportunity to share the findings broadly across the business. We call this “operationalizing the data.”
Close the loop with social engagement
Social media is too big and too important, to leave to chance. It is a critical channel for building brand awareness, generating leads and staying connected with customers. In 2016, 78% of Americans had a social media profile, and people increasingly use social channels to interact with brands. They also use social media to ask for recommendations, praise the products and services they love, and complain about bad customer experiences.
Your customers want you to respond to them when they reach out to you. They want a fast response and an accurate one. They also want to see your brand’s personality through your social media presence.
Combining social media management and social media engagement is the only way to stay aware of what is being said about your brand and fulfil your customers’ social expectations. It ensures your business is offering a state-of-the-art customer experience. And, perhaps most importantly, it reduces the overall cost of serving your customers.
Social media is rapidly becoming a resource for customer care. Gone are the days when customers would wait in a long line with the hope of resolution or be willing to stay on hold for extended periods of time until they could be helped. On social media, they know that the world is watching. Customers know that brands are likely to quickly resolve their issues if they publicly ask for assistance. For many businesses, this can pose issues since they most likely rely on a marketing team to run their social media management initiatives.
Implementing a hybrid team of customer support specialists along with social media management associates, you’ll be able to balance the mix of addressing the increase in customer engagement and customer support that most, if not all, brands like yours get online.