More Brands Should Consider Offering Customer Support through Social Media
Posted: Monday 31 October, 2011
More brands should consider using social media channels for the purpose of customer support, as it can improve online visibility and audience reach, according to digital PR company Punch Communications.
Research conducted by MarketTools found that although customer support through social channels is proving increasingly popular, the number of brands using such channels – notably Facebook - for this means is relatively low. A survey of 331 companies found that only 23 percent of firms currently offer customer support through Facebook, and just 34 percent of executives questioned were even aware that customers use social media to comment or complain directly to a brand. Clearly some brand executives are aware that social media is altering the means by which users interact with a brand, but many are unaware of its potential or are still reluctant to use it as a customer support option.
Conducting customer support is vital in helping to increase online visibility and reputation. The more a brand’s social media fans engage with it, the more likely it is that these users’ friends see the conversations, encouraging them to follow the brand and interact as well.
Social platforms are continuing to evolve to offer more services to their users in a bid to encourage them to spend more time on the platforms. For example, the introduction of Spotify and Hulu applications on Facebook exemplify a clear attempt to encourage users to see the social platform as a source for listening to and discovering new music and television programmes, rather than using it solely as a place to interact with friends. What’s more, as f-commerce becomes increasingly popular, users are finding they can conduct multiple activities from a single source. As people are spending more time on social platforms undertaking a variety of communications and utilising more applications, businesses should take advantage of the trend and demand, and offer their regular services through social media.
Pete Goold, managing director of Punch Communications, said: “As social platforms continue to evolve and the applications they offer become more mainstream it is imperative brands look to use social channels to open up discussions with customers. Encouraging conversation through social channels will not only help improve a brand’s online reputation, but will help increase visibility due to a user’s interaction being publicised to their social media friends. The time spent on these platforms has continued to increase in recent times and brands must observe these changing habits to stay ahead of their competitors in the race for new online fans.”