Have you ever been upset about a product or service and swiftly turned to Facebook to share your frustrations? Have you tagged a company or posted the complaint on their page. Did you get an answer?
An organization that has a social media page on every possible site, but does not effectively interact with the public on those sites, is actually worse off than the company without any presence. How is that possible? Simple: if you open up a social media channel, you have to reply to complaints, suggestions, or comments that are made on that channel. But wait, there’s more! Companies need to be willing to reply in the same way the communication came to the company. Meaning, if a customer tweets frustration about your customer service, tweet back! If you reach out privately, that customer may know you replied, but others assume that you are ignoring your customers.
It is important that organizations use social media to address customer needs and enhance products and services. Customers and prospects want easy access to answers, and if they have to pick up a phone or fumble around a website, they are not going to be happy. Unhappy customers will soon cease to be customers.
25% of consumers who complain about products on Facebook or Twitter expect a response within 1 hour (Source: American Express).
Recruiting Through Social Media
There is an opportunity to harness your employees’ social connections beyond servicing customers. Many recruiters head to social media in order to spread the word about open positions. There are also Applicant Tracking Systems that integrate with social media, so that specific images and descriptions can be posted for an open position all with one click.
Social Media Policies
Regardless of your employer, your industry, or the size of your company, you likely must adhere to some kind of social media policy at work. These policies are put in place to protect the integrity and reputation of the company; however, many of these policies cause companies to miss out on the benefits of social media.
Some common policies restrict all access to social media from work computers during work hours. Others prevent employees from discussing the company in a negative manner on social networks. And some clearly distance the employer from the workforce by emphasizing that employee views are solely those of the employee–not the employer.
Small companies may allow all or most employees to have access to social networks and respond to interactions; whereas, larger companies might actually hire people to do this full time. Depending on the specific company, there are various use policies that can work. The main thing is for companies to remember is that they must interact with customers through their active social media channels.