You run a small, web-based company that sells hiking boots (and other stylish footwear) out of Seattle. You’re good about updating your website regularly with informative, engaging blog posts and colorful content. You always push that content out to your Facebook and Twitter pages for more clicks, too. That’s all helped you sustain a loyal and ever-expanding customer base that extends to consumers all over North America.
But you can’t underestimate the full scope of maintaining a fun, functional online persona, and social media plays a key role in doing so. One of the things that’s made social media so universally loved is how it encourages dialogue on both sides — and in many cases, from perspectives you wouldn’t have considered otherwise. When you’re a business, you have to be mindful of how that can affect your persona, especially when it comes to dealing with customer service issues.
For example, did you know that…
Web users don’t like to be kept waiting.
Nearly 42% of all consumers expect a company to respond within an hour of posting a general inquiry to their Facebook wall or asking a question on Twitter. If it’s a complaint, however, that percentage jumps up to 72%. And there’s typically no difference between posts made on weekdays and during regular business hours and those made on nights and weekends. In other words, customers want answers, and they want them now. That’s something you simply can’t gloss over.
If they’re not satisfied online, customers tend to pick up the phone.
Studies show that 40% of consumers whose questions or complaints went unanswered on social media called the company directly. Now, there’s nothing wrong with fielding customer service calls, but when they’re directly related to an issue that could have been solved with a quick Facebook or Twitter post, that becomes a workflow problem. Instead of selling more shoes, now you’re dealing with a mini-crisis that’s already escalated beyond a basic customer service issue — and that’s never good for business.
Social media and SEO reports are wound a lot more closely than you think.
As important as social media is for directly addressing the customer, it’s been shown how crucial it also is in the world of search engine optimization companies, SEO reports and other aspects of the online marketing world. Currently, 80% of search marketers believe that sharing content on social media channels is going to play a more important role in ranking in the near future. That means SEO firms are linking social media and SEO reports in dozens of ways, especially because nearly three-quarters of businesses use social media to gain more consumers. And those kinds of numbers are exactly what’s needed to give any business — shoe retailer or otherwise — a serious boost in the online marketing realm.