Social media has now become an integral part of internet marketing. No longer limited to business branding and promotion, it is now also a well-utilized  channel  for customer service. The great thing about using social sites to reach your customers is that you don’t need to be a corporate giant to gain exposure.

Marsha Collier, author of The Ultimate Online Customer Service Guide, believes that small businesses are better equipped to gain more from social media. Given their size, it’s easier for them to focus on their customers and communicate with them.  To stay in the lead, every kind of business has to be present where the consumers are, so social platforms are a great way to be up-to-date on customer demands and market trends.

Here are some great ways on how you can maximize social media for customer service:

  • Post your social links on your business website. First off, let people find you. Make sure that your business website has icon links to your official company fan pages or social profiles. Great examples are icon links on the homepages of   Michael Collins and Karen Parker.

  • Keep track of client reviews. When posted on popular channels, feedbacks about your product or services can spread like wildfire on the internet. To keep a close watch on your online reputation or customer feedback, check out Tweetbeep or HootSuite, social management platform that  give you constant updates on converstions that mention your brand, product or company. You can also use Socialmention, a real time social media search and analysis platform that gives you a comprehensive stream of user-generated content.
  • Make quick response. Once you’ve provided an answer to a negative feedback, make a follow up post that the issue is resolved and make sure that the client is happy. Your goal is to turnaround negative situations with quick solutions that will impress both your existing and future clients.
  • Keep your fans informed. Customers won’t need to call in for more information on a product when you utilize social media with informative posts and product updates. Upload instructional videos on YouTube and/or Facebook and post how-to articles on your blog.
  • Offer convenience. People are always looking for the easiest way to do things. Make things convenient for your client by adding a Store feature or free consultation form on your page. Here is one example.
  • Create an outlet for discussion. Encourage customers to talk about your products through interactive commenting.
  • Showcase happy clients. Leave a lasting impression on your fans by showing them your gratitude. Use social media to share videos, photos, and stories of your customers enjoying your product or service.

Being relatively new, using social media as an avenue for customer service still has its own snags. However, when utilized correctly, the advantages to your business are valuable. Being “socially active” lends a more approachable and personal touch to your business. Your transparency leads to the trust of your customers, thus setting you apart from the thousands of impersonal businesses with similar services.

For more social media marketing tips and advice on how to have the best business website, visit us at The Design People or get a Free Consultation.

Posted on June 2, 2011 by Eve

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