Can social media help you build long-lasting relationships with your customers?

It does not matter the size of your business. Whether big or small, social media is fast becoming an essential part of marketing for every brand. There has been an exponential growth in the number of brands on social media. This begs the question, why should you consider being on social media, is it for you and should you try it for your brand?

Most marketers agree that the benefits of social media have been vastly overlooked. Small business owners, however, benefit the most from social media. Let’s explore how social media can help you build relationships that last.


Prioritise customer service through social media

Social media is arguably where people are – your customers are also on social media. The business environment is very competitive. Brands are facing a never-ending struggle of retaining customers and attracting new ones. Good customer service does not only involve a customer being satisfied with a product purchased or service rendered by your business. Customer service and support also make a contribution to customer satisfaction to ensure they do not leave your brand for a better option. At the same time, good customer service and support will attract new customers through word of mouth.


Social media and customer service

Social media is a tool that every business should take advantage of as an essential element of a brand’s success. Brands can leverage social media to provide customer service by building a community for their business. In today’s digital times, customers take to social media with the expectation of receiving customer support. For that reason, social media pages for a brand should exist on different platforms and be available for customer interaction. This makes it easier and more convenient for customers to reach a brand through their preferred platform. Avoid having duplicate pages so that customers can easily find your page. It is advisable that brands use the same handles across all existing platforms the brand is present on. It is important for the brand to generate and share engaging content on a frequent basis so that customers know that the brand is available and interactive.

Presence on social media serves as a more convenient way of handling customer service issues provided a brand has a well-developed social media customer service strategy in place. Having social media profiles and not responding to any comment or message does not help in any way. Real relationships should be built and maintained by responding to messages and comments within a reasonable amount of time. Acknowledgement of any social media interaction with your brand is a social media customer service best practice. Be active and responsive to customers when dealing with an issue, do not give poor responses. No matter how rude or angry a customer’s comment or message is, a brand must always remain calm and respond to the customer in the best possible way. Never respond in an inappropriate or rude way no matter how playful the customer’s comment was. Personality may be injected into the conversation by using emojis and also showing empathy towards a customer who is frustrated. Keep in mind that as much as a conversation may be between one customer and your brand, other customers are also watching and may become a part of the conversation. If responses are rude or inappropriate this could impact a brand’s reputation negatively. Competitors will use that as an opportunity to try to win your customers over to their side and provide better customer service or resolve their issues or concerns using the bad experience with your brand.  Listen closely and respond attentively. Use “Thank you for getting in touch with us, how may we assist you?”, “We are glad to hear you are satisfied with our service”. Some comments will be positive and some negative. No matter how negative the comment or message may be, it is important to never ignore it. All comments and messages should be responded to and handled accordingly. “Thank you for getting in touch, we apologize that you were not satisfied with our service, we will look into your problem and contact you with feedback”. This will influence a connection with customers as they will be able to ask questions, raise concerns, share reviews and so forth which ultimately result in brand loyalty.

The beauty of offering customer service through social media is that responses can be in real-time allowing brands to solve problems and deal with issues/concerns quickly and efficiently. Unlike having to phone a call centre where you can be put on hold for 10-20 minutes depending on call volumes. A customer could take to social media with their query and get a response/assistance almost immediately, providing hassle-free customer service. Remember, your brand’s reputation goes beyond your product and service offering.




Pearlmar Chauke