Handling Social Media

Is your company bad at handling social media?

Date: March 2018
Written by: Charlotte Anderson, Necessity Solutions

Ok so we all get angry with companies and feel that we have the right to be heard and have it aired, but when a company gets hit on social media with a frustrated customer are they doing the right things to help themselves?

With so much of our lives now being run around social media it is only natural that when we have a grievance or complaint against a company we turn to that very medium to share our views. And Twitter has become a very popular place to do just that. But just because it’s so easy and fast to share our views we too have also become very demanding in how quickly we expect a company to respond and that is what is causing a lot of businesses to get into some very sticky and frustrating situations.

US Airways recently responded to an unhappy customer’s complaint by accidentally posting a pornographic image in reply.

The UK pub chain Witherspoons said recently that it was shutting down all of its social media channels because they were becoming too much of a distraction for their staff.

The problem is that things are moving at too fast a pace, people are too quick to complain and companies are too quick to try and squash that complaint. What they really should be doing is using social media to show the customer how they have taken their comment on-board and how they are dealing with it to resolve the issue. Not just firing back a quick reply that they hope will solve the problem. That being said it is no easy task, as companies gather and pass on information quickly, being open and transparent takes commitment and resources.

So how do we use social media in the right way to address our customers complaints and concerns?

Well first is to take time to make sure that the same person always responds on social media. What annoys people the most is different tones of voice and communication styles used, by quite obviously, different people. This not only reassures the customer that the company is taking thing seriously, it build customer relationships and very importantly creats brand consistency for the company.

Businesses need to think about what they are as a brand and what their business does before taking to social media. Once the brand values and personality have been carefully worked out and agreed, they can then be communicated to staff handling the different channels and interacting with customers. And this openness and consistency of time should apply as much when things are going badly as when they are going well.

Getting social media right is tough too for technical reasons. This is partly because most of the apps, sites and networks are designed for individuals not businesses, and because of this businesses have had to hijack social media channels and do the best they can to make things work and adapt them for their own specific purpose.

But things did get a little easier this year when WhatsApp released tools that let brands talk directly to customers through the app. But until then is it any wonder that people turned to Facebook and Twitter, channels they new to get their point across.

The twist in all of this is that with the huge amount of information people share via their social media profiles, apps, chat groups and blogs etc., it gives companies a wonderful opportunity to know much more about their customers and to target them with much more specific messaging – if you know how!

Charlotte Anderson
CEO Necessity Solutions

Necessity Solutions Incorporated
Unit 1
5229 St. Margaret’s Bay Road,
Upper Tantallon,
Nova Scotia, B3Z 4R9Tel: 1- 902 – 454 – 5912
Web: www.necessity.solutions