Around the time that the topic of social media arises in a business marketing discussion, comes the ever-present question of what businesses or brands can expect from their efforts focused within the social territory of the Internet. Though continuously reported financial success is simply found most anywhere social media marketing is case studied on the web, there seems to remain an outspoken, superfluous stigma regarding social media as an unproven, unpredictable dark horse of untraditional marketing media.
There is one thing for sure. If social media died today and was labeled with a legacy, I am sure that it would be nothing short of revolutionary.
It would most likely speak of a communication revolution; a revolution that has begun to build momentum toward a seeming destiny of corporate transparency. The world of brand image and controlled communication is changing. Today’s quickly evolving, content generated and viral spiraling communication cycle has accelerated through and beyond traditional communication’s capabilities. Consumers find themselves empowered with the ability to influence peers over all facets of contemporary business/consumer interaction. Businesses have never seen a market whose consumer feedback holds such high authority and been so readily available.
Seemingly, it is only through embracing social media that companies can merely hold on as the communication bull rips them out of the gate. However, through developing strategic social media marketing goals and objectives, new brands will learn that there is much to gain; and evolving old business practices may be the key to success.
You’ve heard the warm and fuzzy concepts of establishing a happy and helpful community of brand advocates. You also know that through social media, you provide a space for them to speak freely about your products and your company. What you’re really concerned about is your bottom line and where you can expect increased productivity. One measureable example of this exists through the use of social media marketing in customer service.
Energizing Customer Service
Begin to count the average amount of customer complaint calls your business receives on a daily basis. Also, keep track of the average amount of customer calls one representative can handle each hour. Over time, as your social presence builds, do you begin to see a decrease in the average call amount your business receives? Do you see an influx of customer complaints via social media? This can mean that customers have taken to the web to voice their complaints rather than call your representatives (It doesn’t mean they’ve stopped complaining).
Most often, it’s easier and quicker for representatives to address customer issues online than over the phone. For example, if in one hour a customer service representative averages 6 customer calls, and a representative online can average 8 customer complaints, you have increased the productivity of your customer service immensely. This statistic is easily measurable and will continue to grow throughout your social media marketing efforts.
Continue to measure the total amount of calls your customer center processes as well as the amount of online issues you begin to address. Understandably, this number will grow as a result of incorporating social media customer service. This means that you’ve begun to resolve preexisting customer issues that were now found via your social platform. It does require processing more issues in total, but that leads to increasing overall customer satisfaction and retention.
Creating happy customers is only bested by retaining current ones. These new found “brand advocates” are the burning heart of your brand’s social community and all social marketing initiatives you begin will see greater success. It all begins with embracing social media marketing. Remember to take measurable, strategized actions towards each objective. Social media is not about business marketing unless it can be strategized and measured.
1. Falls, Jason, and Erik Deckers. No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing. Indianapolis, IN: Que, 2012. Print.