Social media started out as, well, just that – a chance to be social online. Companies quickly saw the business benefits of social media and so it evolved into the powerful marketing tool it is today, with many companies being omnipresent on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even Pinterest and Tumblr. But it’s no longer just a marketing tool; social media has emerged as one of the top ways in which to provide great customer service to your clients.

With the advent of the Internet, access to brands and the suits behind them has been improved tenfold. If a consumer has a complaint about a product or service, they no longer have to write or type a letter, put it in a stamped envelope, mail it and wait for a response months down the line. They can email the liable organisation, instant message them or publish their complaint on customer service sites like Hello Peter – and now social media – for all the world to see.

While this ability for customers to say what they want about products and services in the public eye has struck terror into the hearts of many business owners, the Internet has given equal access to companies who wish to engage directly with consumers and has given them the chance to market their offerings to far wider audiences. It’s a double-edged sword, you see.

Social media has given businesses a great many opportunities to build relationships with a large network of new customers and many social media platforms have embraced and even helped this process. Facebook quickly made themselves attractive to businesses with the creation of Pages and Check-Ins, and have more recently introduced call to action buttons and review ratings. 

Since the inception of social media, companies are available all day, every day. Any business worth its salt should be keeping tabs on what consumers are saying about them online and responding speedily and levelly.

Here are some helpful tips for using social media to give excellent customer service:

Don’t delay

Quick responses are the aim of the game. In this technological age we live in, consumers expect immediate communication and instant results. You’ll notice many business pages on Facebook now even have a Response Rate indicator – making it infinitely evident that Facebook is first and foremost a customer service tool. Any response outside of 5 minutes is considered negative!

Find innovative ways to engage

The easiest way to maintain good customer service is to talk to your customers and be on the front foot when it comes to engagement. Post interesting and relevant content, and ask questions to make your audience feel important.

Twitter is a great platform to host Q&A sessions using a conversation hashtag, giving your customers a chance to ask questions and voice their opinions.

Social media is a terrific tool for gaining valuable buyer insight while at the same time keeping your customers happy.


This blog first appeared on Ignite Media.