The social customer of today is very demanding and expects a lot. In particular, the customer journey is always dynamic and constantly changing, with brands having to manage multiple touch points and with multiple channels. The explosion of digital channels means that businesses need to be ‘ever’ present across them to meet the expectations of its customers. Scott Sinclair from the MSS UK practice shares his top tips on what brands need to do to meet the expectations of its customers.
The digital revolution has not changed the way we do business, but it has changed the needs and wants of the customer;
- With nearly 428 million smartphone devices sold worldwide in Q1 of 2011, and the smartphone market continuing at break neck speed – the social customer has access to information anywhere and everywhere.
- The average user of facebook has 130 friends and the average twitter user has 126 followers. More and more consumers are turning to these networks for information and being influenced by their networks as opposed to advertising.
Intolerant of slow responses
- Customers expect a rapid response through social media channels, one study suggests that 74% of customers expect a response within 1 hour, with many customers demanding a response through the channel they initiated the conversation.
However, with businesses having a social media presence whether they like it or not, it should not be just a ‘me too’ exercise. For me, the decision to build a social media presence as part of your brand strategy should be to build a meaningful relationship with the customer and not view it as ‘just another’ contact channel.
At the heart of building a successful social media presence is the formation of a communities, with 47% of consumers choosing to join a community simply to find out more information; it is imperative that customer expectations are met through these communities. My top four tips for creating a successful online community to support your brand are;
Set community guideline and expectations from the outset
- Social media communication should be humanized and written by real people in the first person. Scott Monty, the person behind the social media presence of Ford Motor company has become synonymous for sharing his own views with consumers.
Ensure brand consistency
- As mentioned above, the customer journey of today’s social customer is not consistent, however, they do expect consistency of branding between corporate websites, facebook pages, twitter pages etc. Make use of the space these channels offer, complete all profile information and maintain consistency of logo. A quick look at the consistency between the starbucks facebook, twitter and corporate website demonstrates this perfectly.
Participate and promote dialogue and be relevant
- When engaging you should apply the rule of 80/20 – 80% of your communication on social media should be conversational as part of an existing conversation, share knowledge and information and be relevant to the customer, where as 20% should be promotional and about the brand itself. Salesforce.com use their facebook page to have regular conversations with its developer community and promote conversation within
I believe that if you stick to these four principles, you will be able to meet the needs and wants of the social customer. Have you built a successful online community? Do you feel there is something missing from the list? Please leave your comments below