Let me hop on my soap box and say that social media is not a skill – it is a tool; the skill is communication. Communication is not exclusive to sales, promotion or content pitches, rather it’s for sharing, connecting and building relationships. Social media is the opportunity for customer service to reach beyond the doors of the brick and mortar. Before participating in the polar bear swim of social media, businesses need to understand what social media really means before they get in the water realizing their grand plans didn’t go how they wanted: disappointed and uncomfortable with customers watching.

Social Media is a huge conversation.

Before:
Branding
Promotions
Art
Deciding Voice
Schedules
Installing tools to manage accounts
Even before choosing what media to use

Listen to customer facing roles inside the organization.

No sense in assuming what customer service, sales, returns, credit and other customer facing departments already know.

Social media is first and foremost best suited for customer service, customer engagement and building relationships. That is why it is called Social Media and not Sell Media.

What makes the business open its doors in the morning? Customers.

Customers come to us because we have a way to make their lives easier, more fun, more productive, and generally because we can make them happy. Besides just their business, we are rewarded with rich relationships. Just ask any customer service person and they will tell you that customers share their experiences and often inspire giving them meaning and purpose.

The biggest impressions organizations make on customers and prospects are those developed when communicating with customer service.

Ask the questions about your known customers that will set up social media to be a success

  • What are the most common questions?
  • What are the most common concerns or complaints?
  • What are the most common objections to our product/service?
  • What are our most popular or highly used products?
  • Who are our brand champions?
  • Any known issues with our product/service recently?
  • What do customers like to talk about?
  • What kinds of things do you recommend to customers?
  • What kinds of things motivate customers?
  • Do customers say why they choose us over a competitor?

In the restaurant of social media everyone needs to be trained to take an order, know where the silverware is and how to take care of a delicate issue with a customer. They also need to be friendly, welcoming and understand the experience is indeed about the customer, not pitching the brand of the restaurant.

Don’t be fooled, social media is first a customer service role.

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About the author

Lyndi Thompson wrote 114 articles on this blog.

Online startup marketing strategy & solutions. Customer focused, high energy, creative & thankful. I love connecting good people to create great communities. New Mom. Fan of chocolate & the smell of horses.