How To Integrate Social Media Into Your Omnichannel Support Strategy
Unlike in the past, consumers now use multiple channels and devices to research, browse, and buy products or services. It’s not uncommon for a shopper to look up a product on their phone, purchase it online, and then pick it up from a store.
Businesses need to be able to keep up with customers no matter where or how they’re shopping. It’s not enough to just integrate your physical and online stores. For a fully omnichannel experience, social platforms need to be seamlessly integrated as well, as social channels can increase customer engagement.
Businesses with multi-channel marketing and support offerings experience 3X higher effectiveness rates. Yet only 26% of companies have taken action to adopt an omnichannel strategy.
In this post, I’m going to show you seven ways in which you can integrate social platforms into your support strategy for a sophisticated omnichannel experience.
1. Find Out Where Your Customers Are
Social listening is a key component of audience research, which allows you to pinpoint exactly where your customers are hanging out online. It allows you to track and analyze conversations about your brand and industry anywhere on the internet. And it’s important to analyze customer patterns and trends, not just individual comments. Integrating all of the data gathered from social listening can enrich your customer data and improve your service and support offerings across all channels.
It also creates more opportunities to engage your customers across social platforms and identify which ones they are most active on. For example, if you discover that Twitter is more likely to be used for customer service queries you can now set up a dedicated service profile on the platform.
2. Collect And Centralize Your Data
Social platforms allow you to gather different kinds of customer data you need to make personalized offers. Some of the information you can collect include:
- Customer interests
- Preferences for interacting with your business
- How they see you compared to the competition
- What issues they have faced
- If and how they attempted to contact you before reaching out via social media
In order to get a complete profile, you need to take all the data collected across the various social media platforms and centralize it in one shared database, such as a customer relationship management system.
This database should also be integrated with all your other platforms so your team can provide cross-channel support.
Not everything can or should be tackled publicly on social media. So it’s vital that a customer interaction that starts on a social platform can seamlessly transition to another channel, such as a call center, and transition back again as needed.
3. Integrate Social Media And Email Marketing
Integrating your social media strategy with your email marketing will allow you to create more engagement, and gain more leads and potential customers.
You can do this by linking to your social channels and promoting your social media campaigns through emails. You can also publish incentives on social media encouraging people to sign up for your emails.
Another option is to upload your email subscriber list to your social media accounts. This will help you find your customers on social to learn more about them, interact with them, and create more targeted ad campaigns.
4. Combine Live Support With Chatbots
People now prefer chat over live conversations. In fact, 72% of adults prefer digital communication with companies over any other option. Social media allows you to provide digital communication through both live chat and chatbot support.
The Value Of Chatbots
The greatest benefit of chatbots is that they can greatly reduce your response time, which is critical to customer satisfaction. Nearly 32% of consumers expect an answer within 30 minutes, and over half of them expect it even at nights and during weekends.
The problem is, currently the average response time is over five times that, as 157 minutes. Only 8% of businesses respond within the expected 30 minutes time frame.
With the adoption of chatbots, you can provide instant responses that will help you stand out from the competition and create positive lasting impressions.
The Value Of Live Chat
Studies show that live chat benefits your business by reducing bounce rates and increasing upselling to clients. One study showed that 38% of customers made a purchase solely due to a positive live chat session.
Well-trained customer service agents can resolve problems, answer complex questions, and provide positive experiences that increase customer sales and loyalty.
Combining The Two
To gain the greatest benefits of both, you should take the following actions:
- Publish the hours when live chat is available if it’s not available 24/7.
- Give customers the option on how they want to contact you.
- Create an automated message letting someone know a representative will respond to them immediately.
5. Respond To Everything
Success on social media ultimately relies on engagement. Nobody likes to be ignored, especially when they have something negative to say.
Therefore, you need to train your social media team to monitor keywords relating to your company, services, and the industry at large so they can catch comments from users who don’t tag you.
You need to constantly look for ways to connect with your audience. Around 25% of people say that they engage with brands because they want to join their community. And the only way to have an effective community online is to be involved in the conversation.
6. Support In-app Purchases
Connect your social networks to your commerce platform so you can start selling on sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Based on demographic studies, Generation X is more likely to shop on Facebook, while both Millennials and Generation Z spend the majority of their shopping dollars on products they find on Instagram and Snapchat.
However, age groups aren’t the only factor, so it’s important to use the social listening data discussed above to pinpoint where your target customers are most likely to shop on social.
7. Encourage Purchase Sharing And Recommendations
When people buy your products, you should make it easy for them to share the news through their social media accounts.
You can do this online by creating share buttons at the end of transactions. For offline purchases, you can offer to email customers receipts and include the social share links in the email.
This will encourage more people to buy from you.
Today’s customers want to know what other people are buying and who they’re buying from. Positive reviews are what make people trust you. In fact, consumers read seven reviews on average before deciding to trust a business.
You can increase your reviews and recommendations by making it easier for social followers to leave feedback. Plenty of platforms now offer their own rating systems that you can use. For instance, Facebook allows people to leave five-star reviews on company pages.
Integrating social media into your omnichannel support strategy creates massive benefits for both you and your customers.
Seamlessly transitioning between social platforms and your other channels, such as your customer service center or website, can increase customer satisfaction and engagement.
And with these seven methods, you can incorporate social media platforms into your overall support strategy in a way that enhances your customer experiences.
Not only will your customers feel more heard, they will also be encouraged to share their experience and draw in other customers to your business.