Over the last few days, we've seen the meteoric rise of Ello, and once again, shiny object syndrome has set in with marketers excitedly thinking through the possibilities and hopefully, exercising restraint. We are in an industry of constant flux with ever-evolving consumer behaviors and the rise and fall of new platforms.
As exciting as digital and social media marketing can be, the real success isn't found in flashy campaigns and new platforms. It's in the everyday, seemingly mundane interactions with customers and advocates. It's in those quiet, micro interactions that loyalty is nurtured and relationships are built.
The possibility social media offers marketers is the ability to connect with customers with scale and speed. If they're talking about the category, the brand or even competitors, brands can listen, understand opportunities and act on them… quickly. These conversations could never be heard before, and if they did happen, it was likely with one employee who had no way to act on the insight. And if people have a complaint, they can let brands know, giving brands the opportunity to save the relationship or lose it.
Incredible campaigns that achieve massive reach and get people talking are powerful, but they are the exception, not the everyday, in-the-trenches conversations brands are having (or should be having) with consumers. It's the difference between talking at people and talking with them.
It's What Customers Want.
People value the average, day-to-day interaction. In fact, according to Edison Research, 42% of people expect to get a response from brands they reach out to through social media within no more than one hour, and one of the top five reasons people even take the time to connect with a brand by following is for product assistance and customer service Brands need to be on top of it as only 18% say their teams are able to respond within an hour.
People aren't asking for flash. They're asking brands to listen, help and respond, and few brands are giving them what they are clearly asking for and expecting.
Day-to-Day Offers a Competitive Advantage
Social customer service isn't about directing people to standard customer service phone lines and other channels. It's about solving the problem with the customer on the channel they reached out in whenever possible and troubleshooting each unique issue until it is resolved. Beyond that, it's about spotting issues and opportunities before they bubble up into something bigger.
That day-to-day interaction feeds loyalty and sparks advocacy. It allows brands to go beyond the standard and stand out. It's amazing that even today delivering great service can be one of the strongest differentiators a brand can offer its customers.
Attention-grabbing campaigns are valuable and critical to any brand's social media success, but they cannot overshadow the importance of everyday interactions with customers. So before launching that incredible campaign, make sure the fundamentals are in place. That's what people will notice, hold onto and remember when the campaign has run its course.