Becoming socially enabled is a big priority: Nearly all executives (97 percent) surveyed believe it will be important for successful organizations to transition to being socially enabled enterprises. In fact, 72 percent reported that leveraging social media will be very important for their organizations to be successful in the future.
When a business is socially enabled, it can mean a lot of different things:
- Audience Engagement
- Brand Promotion
- Monitoring & Analysis
When organizations started to embrace social media, the primary focus was on targeted advertising and brand promotion. Since social is both proactive and reactive, the strategy has evolved. As the analytics and listening capabilities become more advanced, it enabled organizations to leverage social media for more than advertising and branding purposes.
One area where social can improve business is customer experience. Let’s take a look at three areas where social is making a big impact:
Customer Sentiment (Listening)
Have you ever wished you could quickly gather insights as to whether or not your customers are happy? Social listening provides a forum for customers to share their experiences and sentiment for a product or service. Many brands create communities online so their customers can talk and share their ideas, but the real magic for a brand is filtering that content to better understand how happy their customers are.
Customer Service (Engagement)
Social listening gives companies the ability to listen and monitor owned and shared channels to make sure they quickly respond to the requests of their customers. Given that customer acquisition is 6x more expensive than retention, social listening provides a consistent platform for brands to actively connect and converse with their customers; this enables them to solve problems quickly and reduce customer churn. Many consumer brands like Comcast, Zappos, and Bluehost are known for highly engaged teams that manage, monitor and respond to social queues. This has also been a quickly growing trend in other service industries like air transport and hotels as they seek to build strong communities of active brand evangelists.
Competitive Analysis (Data…Actionable Intelligence)
Never before has competitive intelligence been so widely available for businesses. Social listening can provide clear insights into who your competitors are and what they are doing. Imagine knowing before you launch a new service exactly what the market is willing to pay for your service or what else they are looking for that your competitors aren’t offering. By listening and analyzing the data, you can also avoid potential pitfalls and provide a better customer experience from the start. Further, when a company knows what customers dislike about their competitors, it gives them a roadmap for success.
- For instance, if I was a managing a home building supply store and knew that there were a lot of complaints about the competitors department staff being unknowledgeable, I’d make sure that my department representatives were subject matter experts…and I’d advertise this service (and probably even set up a social page where people could ask the experts).
When an organization is leveraging social media to gather customer sentiment, serve and engage with customers, and analyze digital language, they will be more likely to delight customers and provide an exceptional customer experience. Inevitably it comes down to people, but empowering those people with the right tools to do their jobs is imperative.