This post is the first in a multi-part series with our partner Salesforce Marketing Cloud, examining how brands and companies can get closer to their social customer.
Social media can be a powerful marketing tool. As reported in the Salesforce Marketing Cloud report, State of Marketing 2015, 66% of marketers believe social marketing is core to their business. But used the wrong way, social media sites can have a negative impact on your business — costing you goodwill and prospective customers. So how can you create a positive impression of your business and/or your products on popular social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ — and avoid potentially costly social media blunders?
To find out more about these common mistakes, and how to avoid them, we spoke to Jeff Rohrs, VP, Marketing Insights at Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Together, we’ll look at three common mistakes we want you to avoid, and explore how the best companies are creating happier customers.
1. Not listening to customers
Listening to customers is more important than ever. Today, all customers have audiences of their own, providing a tech-enabled word of mouth where one piece of negative feedback can snowball, and quickly. It is critical for companies to have great listening tools to understand sentiment in the marketplace and identify trends, both positive and negative. In addition, companies should have their social media team in lock-step, part and parcel to their customer service efforts. For example, JetBlue promises a response window of under an hour when they get any customer service request, and McDonalds, across all of their global locations, strives to be closer to their customers by paying close attention to social sentiment around their products, services and campaigns.
Always remember that your marketing team needs to make sure to keep the customer service teams informed with regard to the latest promotions or brand marketing campaigns. Customers could be reacting to those campaigns, and your customer service team should be well-versed in how to represent the brand. By bringing marketing and customer service closer together, your best customer service success stories can ultimately become your best marketing tools down the line.
2. Not learning from feedback
Social media not just a technology issue. it’s a human issue. This not only applies to your interactions with your customers, but it applies within peers and groups in your organizations. In order to properly feedback customer sentiment and their comments, you have to do the legwork in advance. You have to talk to your product team, customer service team and operations team, really every member of yur organization. It really important that your whole company understands it is not one monolith channel within which we market, but rather a diverse multi-channel, cross-platform, human system. Feedback can come from customers, from your followers onlines, from your clients and prospects. Being able to listen and apply that feedback benefits all groups.
Today, everyone is a marketer. Everyone has the opportunity to accelerate the understanding of the customer, not just marketing or customer service, but truly everyone. Everyone can educate the customer on new products and services, new changes and campaigns, and everyone can react and respond in real time. It’s about constantly making sure your have everyone in your organization on the same page so when sometimes comes up, you get that feedback into the right hands, you respond, and your take the necessary steps to enact change.
3. Not improving and creating Happier customers
Finally, the most critical mistake many companies make is not closing the loop, and giving the customer a response back. This is your opportunity to surprise and delight. Customer don’t often get a response back, so when they do it truly amazes the with a response they did not expect. On social media, you can asses if the customer is an influencer, in which case your lack of proper follow through can have even more detrimental effects, and your silence can be deafening.
All of these are the essential elements of managing the customer journey. Perhaps the most important step of this journey is this final step. The way you continue to communicate with your customer, how your relationship builds and evolves over time, determines how your brand is perceived, and whether or not your have created a lasting, meaningful relationships with a happy customer.
On Tuesday February 24, Salesforce Marketing Cloud will discuss how they are helping organizations in various industries streamline their overall social strategy at Social Media Week NYC. If you’re in town, we hope you will join us! Learn more and get your pass here.
About Jeffrey Rohrs
Jeffrey K. Rohrs serves as Vice President of Marketing Insights for Salesforce, and he is the author of AUDIENCE: Marketing in the Age of Subscribers, Fans and Followers (Wiley Business, 2014) and the award-winning SUBSCRIBERS, FANS & FOLLOWERS Research Series. Jeff is also known to dabble in podcasting as co-host of the Social Pros Podcast with Jay Baer. When not pondering marketing’s great mysteries, Jeff soothes his Cleveland Browns-related agita by BBQing roast beasts–low & slow–on his back deck in Lakewood, Ohio.