How to Align Social Media Marketing with Social Customer Care

Social media presents a unique opportunity for an organization to function as both a marketing channel and a provider of top-notch customer care. With your social accounts needing to function well on both ends, it’s essential to provide your social support and marketing teams with the tools and time they need to collaborate successfully.

Keep reading for five key ways by which you can ensure that your organization’s social media marketing and customer care teams collaborate on a customer-centric social plan.

Work Together

It is imperative that your social customer care and marketing teams work together. To foster better teamwork between the two sides of the operation, consider the following ways to help the teams collaborate:

  • Schedule regular meetings between both teams to discuss their work and plans for social
  • Provide the appropriate tools to help the teams collaborate
  • Map out a social media plan using contributions from both teams

It’s essential that the two teams aren’t merely using the occasional email check-ins, but have a concrete plan for collaboration. While marketing may have a bigger budget or more influence within the organization, both marketing and support are an integral part of sharing your brand’s identity, values, and voice with the public.

Train Teams in Both Marketing and Support

While each team is specialized in their area of expertise, cross-training will help both teams understand how they work with the social channels and how they can help each other. Make sure every team member working on social media has a clear understanding of what everyone else is doing, and is also aware of the basics of how they get it done. No message or customer reply should come as a surprise. Everyone involved—from both the marketing and social teams—must have a clear understanding of the brand, the tone, and voice of your social accounts. Beyond the basics of understanding the social world, be sure to cover basic social customer care tips, as well as an overview of the marketing plans and methods. Define what success looks like for your social channels, and make sure everyone knows how they contribute towards making it happen.

Develop a Social Strategy Together

Rather than trying to map out your social media strategies for marketing and customer care separately, develop a unified plan to make both pieces a cohesive unit. Any work on social is public and very visible, so it’s essential that it all makes sense when viewed from a singular vantage point. To the public who are accessing your social accounts, it’s all the same thing, even if it’s broken into multiple parts within your organization.

As you develop your social strategy, be sure to include the following in your plan:

Branding

How does your social media strategy for both marketing and customer care reflect your organization’s branding? What will each team do to promote the overall feel of your brand, and maintain that in every piece of content and public interaction they share on social?

Methods

Establish your style. Develop specific voice and tone guides for support agents and marketers. Support team members should also develop their support style as a cohesive unit, just as marketing will work on their own specific marketing plans for what they’ll create and share. A style guide to help keep everyone on the same page and train new team members may be beneficial.

Goals

Set a clear, big picture idea of what you’re hoping to achieve with your work on social media, as well as smaller goals along the way. On social media for marketing and customer care, these goals may include follower counts, engagement rates, link clicks by content type, customer satisfaction, and the percent of support requests replied to (often referred to as the response rate).

Metrics

Establish a set of metrics you’ll track to identify success. Your metrics will help you determine next steps, adjust your plan as you go, and continually improve your work on social media based on real data, rather than relying on a hunch. As a starting point, use your goals to guide the metrics to start tracking right away. For example, if you’ve set a goal for offering customer support on Twitter around the clock, first you’ll need to know how many incoming support requests you have during any given hour, to determine the required staffing levels. Likewise, if your marketing team creates various types of content—from quick tips about your product to plan pricing updates—they’ll want to track performance to see what your customers respond to best to better inform future content plans.

Brand Reputation

Working in full view of the world can be tricky, not to mention daunting. A major misstep can result in frustration, negative public comments, and a loss of trust between your organization and your current or potential customers. To keep track of how things are going, keep an eye on your brand’s reputation online. Utilize social listening to monitor social media, watch your reputation on review sites, and keep track of earned media mentions and overall engagement. Have a clear grasp of how people on the internet see you, or what someone will find if they search your organization’s name on their favorite search engine. This is an essential piece of the puzzle when determining the best social media strategy.

Your social plan should establish a way to provide consistent messaging and behavior so that your social accounts accurately reflect the strategy you’ve established. Every person contributing to your social media accounts needs a clear set of guidelines and markers of success to contribute to positive outcomes on social media.

Integrate Technology

Beyond planning to work together, provide your marketing and support teams with the technology they need. A tool that assigns incoming messages—like tweets, comments, and direct messages—to specific team members can help keep both teams organized and on top of your social accounts.

A tool for social media collaboration that ties into your multichannel support options, allows everyone on the team to view entire conversations with people on social, no matter who sent the reply. It will also show the history and context of all interactions between the customer and the team, both publicly and privately. Plus, the ability to coordinate work alongside seamlessly will help everyone involved avoid duplicating work by keeping track of everything any team member needs all in one spot. Nothing is more embarrassing than sending the same customers two different replies from two different people – with two different answers!

Marketing and Customer Care Overlap

Once you determine your social media strategy, your tools are in place, and your collaborative team members are ready to go, look for ways marketing content can contribute to successful customer care, and vice versa. Is your team providing excellent customer care on social media? Your marketing team can promote their work as a reason for using your service over a competitor. Or your support team can stay aware of marketing pushes and make sure they’re available to handle an influx of questions, comments, or complaints before things spiral out of control and overshadow their marketing efforts. Marketing can also create content around tips and product information for customers to find, which could help reduce incoming support questions and gives support another place to point when answering a duplicate question.

Align Customer Care and Marketing for Social Media Success

As you work to align your social media marketing and customer care plans, stay focused on the five essential elements—collaboration, training, strategy, technology, and content—to make your organization’s public-facing work stand out among the rest. While marketing and social media can work independently, combining forces for a strategy that centers your customer, integrates their work internally with the proper tools and fully understands your brand, will take your social to the next level.