Connect with us

Social Media

9 Tips for Fielding Customer Questions on Social Media

Published

on

Customers approach a company through many different channels, including social media. This isn’t a bad thing, as social media carries the advantage of immediacy: Customers have questions, which you can respond to in real-time. Social media also carries the weight of audience, though: You’re effectively talking in a crowded room, and people are paying attention.

So how should you handle customer questions on platforms like Facebook and Twitter? Should you always respond on the same channel, or are there times you’ll want to take the conversation to email or phone? And, if so, how do you know when?

To find out, we asked nine members from YEC for their perspectives on approaching social media and customer service.

1. Social Media Is Where the People Are

Facebook has approximately 1.86 billion monthly active users, and Twitter has 317 million, so it’s safe to say social media is where the people are. Your customers are most likely on some sort of social media, and most people find that social is the easiest and quickest way to contact a company. It’s crucial to have a customer service team responding to your social media inquiries as soon as possible.

Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff.com

2. Customers Are Expecting It

If you have social media profiles, it’s a must to provide customer service through that channel. Whether you like it or not, customers will try to contact you where they feel most comfortable. It can be a great form of marketing, too: Satisfied customers from social media are more likely to share their experiences with others.

Elliot Bohm, Cardcash.com

3. Connectivity Boosts Personal Connection

We activated Facebook Messenger on our Shopify store about six months ago. I’m blown away by how many people sign on through Facebook at checkout, then provide feedback, ask questions and thank us for sending them information like tracking and order receipts there. It’s been a huge boost for making personal connections with customers, rather than leaving them looking for a contact page.

Josh Sprague, Orange Mud

4. Use Social Media to Control the Conversation

Traditional customer service tools are great for solving problems behind the scenes, but when your customers are having problems and talking about them on social media, it can be incredibly valuable to have a support account. By interacting instantly with any complaint, you are able to control the conversation before it gets out of hand.

Christopher Swenor, East Coast Product

5. Give Answers Quickly via Social Media

Our customers are millennials. They tend to be impatient and want answers right away. If they don’t get them, they’ll check out from your social media account and try to get another brand’s attention ASAP. It is important that customers don’t wait that long.

Daisy Jing, Banish

6. Handle Details via Email

Social media customer service is great for quick Q&As and responding to feedback. However, when there’s a lot of back and forth or detailed information that needs to be shared to resolve an issue, take it to email to prevent it from cluttering up your pages and to help the customer keep a good record of the interaction.

Roger Lee, Captain401

7. Provide Other Channels

While some of your audience may prefer to be contacted this way, you can’t assume it’s for everyone, so make sure you have other channels like a live agent on your website, a clearly marked phone number with real people, a help desk function that provides answers and a customer service email address.

Murray Newlands, Sighted

8. Avoid Social Pressures When Discussing Service Issues

Social media offers an excellent way to listen and interface with customers. If a customer service problem arises, you have to answer your customer to show you care and value their feedback. But create offline channels to deal with the service issues and interact with the customer so it’s not aired over social media. This removes social pressures and encourages honest and direct communication.

Dan Golden, BFO (Be Found Online)

9. A Customer Is a Customer Anywhere

If someone contacts you on your company social media, you should absolutely treat them as you would a customer in any other context. Every meeting is an ambassador moment, so it simply doesn’t make sense to me to silence these people. That doesn’t mean you have to answer them outside of work hours, but make an effort to reply quickly.

Matt Doyle, Excel Builders

 

Make the Most Out of Your Social Media Efforts Today

With more than two billion users accessible through social media, it’s quickly become one of the fastest and most effective ways to reach audiences and customers around the world. Be sure to implement these expert tips into your social media marketing and engagement efforts today.

If you enjoyed this expert round-up, be sure to also view our previous guides on how to get more feedback from your customers and 11 different platforms for growing your personal brand.

  • 5
  • 28
  •  
  •  
  •  
Continue Reading

Social Media

How to Manage an Emerging PR Crisis — Before It Spirals Out of Control

Published

on

Many business leaders would say that handling a PR crisis is an eventuality. But in today’s always-on world of social media and brand communications, what is already a crisis can get out of hand very easily.

The solution may be to leverage social media to get out messages that take control of the situation and give brands a fighting chance to recover quickly. For example, after the incident in which two black men were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks, CEO Kevin Johnson apologized in a video shared across the brand’s online platforms.

For more ideas on swiftly getting in front of a crisis, we asked members of Young Entrepreneur Council to share tips on how to handle a PR crisis on social media.

1. Share a CTA

Inevitably, all corporations and businesses will have issues arise. Social media has given us a great platform to address these issues head on directly to our clients and customers. What lacks from many public apologies is a call to action. At the end of your video, you should offer some sort of call to action, such as a discount or coupon. Chipotle did this very well in 2017

Brandon Stapper, Nonstop Signs

2. Get Ahead of the Story

The first thing a brand can do to leverage social media is to immediately roll out an official statement regarding its position on the matter. Waiting more than a few hours can allow the media and the social universe to create and carry the narrative. After broadcasting their position, brands should be the first in line to create a public forum for ideas and discussion on addressing these issues.

Jared Weitz, United Capital Source Inc.

3. Watch for Warning Signs

One of the keys to effective crisis management on social media is to be highly vigilant when it comes to complaints and controversy before it escalates. Social media can be very effective for getting your brand’s message out there quickly. It’s also likely the first place you will know of potential issues. Consider a media monitoring tool with alerts.

Karl Kangur, MRR Media

4. Be Authentic

Although it’s not something any brand wants to happen, the reality is that mistakes are made. At the end of the day, people want to see authenticity. They want to know that there are real, genuine people behind the brands and that they’re willing to take ownership of these mistakes. The key is to react quickly and take responsibility for the mistake.

Marcela De Vivo, Mulligan Funding

5. Be Prepared

Social media is a wild environment and when an incident goes viral at scale, it can be almost impossible to control public opinion. Focus on addressing the issue in the best possible way and hope you’ll be judged as fair by the populace.

Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now

6. Stream Live on Facebook

Streaming live on Facebook offers a level of authenticity where the message cannot be edited or manipulated in any way. It also offers you the advantage of controlling the narrative of a PR crisis. It’s like tweeting with video.

Patrick Barnhill, Specialist ID, Inc.

7. Be Proactive

Every company needs a proactive approach to leveraging social media for crisis management. Proactive measures begin with smarter hiring decisions, continue through training for all levels of staff on professional social media usage and inform what it means to be a front-lines ambassador for the brand. Reactions to negative PR always lack authenticity. Showing staff that your company thinks proactively minimizes risk.

Mike A. Podesto, Find My Profession

8. Handle Issues with Immediacy

Social media creates a rise in the sense of urgency, allowing you to streamline past the agenda of traditional media outlets. Live streams can be utilized for press conferences that have high urgency and need further reach.

Andrew Namminga, Andesign

9. Hold an Ask-Me-Anything Session

While live streaming may be an effective way to transparently connect to the public during a crisis, it isn’t always the best way to get on top of a developing crisis. Instead, aim for a form of communication that still allows for some control. An AMA (ask me anything) through Reddit is an excellent compromise between control and intimacy that can be helpful for navigating PR crises.

Bryce Welker, Crush The LSAT

10. Own the Mistake

Fighting it on social media tends to add more fuel to the fire, unless you’re completely in the right. But in most cases, just owning up to something results in little downside and potentially averts a major PR disaster. There are countless examples of companies handling it the wrong way and sparking even larger outrage.

Andy Karuza, FenSens

11. Hold Yourself Accountable

The public has less and less tolerance for anyone, whether they’re politicians or CEOs, trying to avoid responsibility. So the number one thing is to admit when you’ve made a mistake and apologize in a way that’s sincere. Then do what you can to make things right. It’s even better to create a positive and cohesive company culture so you avoid having problems like this in the first place.

Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting

Protecting Your Brand when a PR Disaster Strikes!

No one ever wants to deal with a media or PR disaster, but when they happen… they happen. The difference between those who can make it through these disasters are those who are prepared and are already well ranked in the search results. Follow these tips to make sure your brand and business is well protected online.

  • 7
  • 7
  •  
  •  
  •  
Continue Reading

Social Media

12 Tips to Reach Millennials on Social Media in 2018

Published

on

Two of the most talked about things on the internet these days are social media and millennials. Consumers expect you to reach them on the platforms they use every day, and this is especially true for the millennial demographic. Many brands want to know how to leverage social media platforms to reach this audience.

But with so much misinformation out there about what millennials want, it can be tough to decide what to try as you take a hard look at your marketing plan. One of the most obvious things we can confirm is that visual content is now more effective than ever before, as mobile usage continues to rise. This is also why we are seeing more millennials leave social platforms like Facebook, while focusing more on Instagram.

We asked members of Young Entrepreneur Council to share their top tips for reaching the millennial demographic on social media. Here’s what they had to say:

1. Keep It Real

Millennials don’t like companies telling them what to do or feeling like they are getting the hard sell. Instead of offering ads and promotions, reach these consumers by portraying genuine, appealing ways of life. Also, they care about what their friends and others in the digital space are saying about a product. When you want to market to them, you need to speak their language. If your business can partner with a digital influencer, you are more likely to build their trust and earn their business.

BlairThomas, eMerchantBroker

2. Stop Trying So Hard

The most important lesson I’ve learned about engaging millennials, by hiring them, working alongside them and listening to them, is that they can smell a rat right away. They value your warts more than your shiny new widget because those are authentic. Whatever you want them to see, buy or try is last on their list. They want to know that you’re not fake, you’re consistent and you’re not all about greed.

– Robert J Choi, RJC & Company Transformation Engineers

3. Know Your Audience

It’s not enough to know that millennials like Snapchat and Instagram. “Millennial” is a broad category covering millions of people with different opinions, preferences and behavioral patterns. Rather than making sweeping assumptions, do your homework. Invest in a solid market and persona analysis to discover where your customers spend their online time, and target those channels.

Vik Patel, Future Hosting

4. Advertise on New Platforms

The matchmaking industry is alive and kicking! As more businesses start using social media, marketers will need to be savvier with their outreach techniques. Finding new platforms that the competition isn’t using is a smart way to get millennial attention.

Codie Sanchez, Www.CodieSanchez.com

5. Use Video

The best way to catch a millennial or anyone’s attention on social media is to incorporate video. Be sure that the video is captioned. Viewers are more likely to read content in a captioned video as opposed to plain text without visual content.

Chris Quiocho, Offland Media

6. Share Daily Tips and Affirmations

Send tidbits of helpful information, almost like a daily affirmation that is positive and speaks to the audience’s desires and perspectives. Include an influencer or an example of a social cause in these tidbits.

Peter Daisyme, Calendar

7. Use Messaging Apps

Nobody wants to call your customer service number. Nobody wants to send an email. Brands that are ready to communicate via direct messages will win. Most simple Q&As can be automated through chatbots. With that said, make sure you do have a call center plugged in to provide a great experience when there’s added complexity.

Dan Golden, BFO (Be Found Online)

8. Market to the iGeneration

Leveraging social media to effectively communicate with millennials requires two things: listening and engaging. Marketing platforms will continue to change. Facilitating personalized, two-way communication is key. It’s important to actively listen to what your audience is saying and tailor your responses as needed, especially if your goal is to engage a younger, digitally savvy audience.

Stephen Ufford, Trulioo

9. Talk to Millennials

If you want to understand how to reach millennials on social media, talk to them. I asked my interns last summer about their social media habits and what platforms their friends use most actively, and I was surprised to learn just how popular Instagram was relative to every other channel. However, that could change tomorrow. So whenever you want to know what is in and what is out, ask.

Adam Mendler, Beverly Hills Chairs

10. Be Yourself Across the Board

Millennials want authenticity, so be yourself on several social media platforms. If you try to be something you are not, they won’t buy it and will dismiss you faster than you can correct your misjudgment.

Ben Landis, Fanbase

11. Get Attention With Influencer Marketing

I think influencer marketing is the best source to reach the younger demographic. Influencer marketing gets the attention of most people. Find leaders with a huge following and have them post about your company. It works wonders and gets huge reach.

Tommy Mello, A1 Garage Door Repair

12. Hire Millennials

Who knows millennials better than millennials? The social media industry is filled with skilled and knowledgeable millennials, so why not hire some to join your team? They understand the demographic better than anyone and they know how to communicate effectively with them.

Jared Brown, Hubstaff Talent

How to Grow Your Following and Reach on Social Media

Everyone is on social media, yet only a small portion of individuals and brands have the following and influence that we all try to achieve. What is the difference between those who have a massive following, and those who just have social accounts that sit there dormant? The difference is often the content that is being created and how social users are engaging with their audience. Just take a look at any of these top Instagram influencers and see why and how visual content is quickly becoming king. The same working methods for these individuals and celebrities work for brands and businesses as well.

If you want to see what’s working best for your competition, be sure to visit their social profiles and see how they are engaging with their audiences. Once you find a formula that is working, be sure to implement the same practices into your own social media efforts.

  • 13
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Continue Reading

Social Media

Seven Free Tools and Resources for Beginning YouTubers

Published

on

Starting a channel on YouTube has become so affordable, just about anyone can do it.

Yet, once you launch one, you realize that blogging goes far beyond just shooting videos and publishing them online. Besides gadgets – lights, camera, mic – time becomes your main investment. Truth be told, that technical part between shooting and hitting the “Publish” button sometimes requires much more effort than expected.

Good thing, there are hundreds of free tools that can help automate your workflow when it comes to post-production, thumbnail design, tagging, and social media posting. Some of them are reviewed in this article, so be ready to bookmark.

Free video editing software for Mac: iMovie

Clearly, video editing software is where you’ll be spending most of your time with, so take a serious approach to choosing one. If you’re on Mac, iMovie will probably be your best option so look no further. Apple has made it available for free to every iOS device owner and feature-wise it is so capable, many famous YouTubers stick to iMovie even after surpassing a million of subscribers.

iMovie has a clear concise interface, it’s intuitive and offers just about every feature you might need as a YouTuber – including color correction, title templates, transitions, and a decent audio editor.

Find iMovie for iOS here.

Free video editing software for Windows: VSDC

PC users have a much wider choice of video editing software. There is a good dozen of great video editors available for Windows at zero cost, including Movie Maker some may still have installed on their computers. For relatively tech-savvy bloggers, VSDC Free Video Editor might be a workable solution to start with. It’s a lightweight, powerful, and simple piece of software with over 50 built-in effects and various transitions.

You’ll be able to quickly cut and merge footage fragments, zoom in, create timelapses, add contour text, replicate effects often used by bloggers (such as picture-in-picture) and publish clips to YouTube directly from the program interface. On top of that, VSDC has built-in screen capture and webcam capture tools which might come in handy when recording tutorials or, say, reaction videos.

Download VSDC here.

Those on the latest OS, may proceed to a detailed review of free video editors for Windows 10.

Free tools for creating thumbnails: Stencil and Fotojet

If you are a student of YouTube Creators Academy, you have probably heard that thumbnails are like billboards. They have a tremendous impact on the number of views your video gets. When someone is looking for answers on YouTube, and several relevant videos appear among search results, the choice often depends on the thumbnail. That’s why a well-designed image is so important for channel growth.

Luckily, you don’t have to educate yourself on Adobe Photoshop to create a decent visual anymore. Consider using Stencil or Fotojet – online image editors and absolute no-brainers to use. You get access to hundreds of templates, stock images, and icons to build your own creative from scratch by dragging-and-dropping elements on the canvas.

The best part about both tools is that you can instantly resize your image based on where you’re planning to publish it. While neither app is positioned as completely free, both have robust trial versions that should be more than enough for a beginning YouTuber.

Sign up for Stencil or Fotojet.

Free audio-to-text transcription tools

Video transcribing is the most efficient way to create descriptions, subtitles, and repurpose your content for other social media channels. It saves a great deal of time and effort. Audio-to-text transcription used to be performed manually and that was quite a pricey service just a few years ago. Now, there are free automated tools available, and you’ll probably regret you didn’t start using them earlier.

For starters, YouTube has a built-in tool that will transcribe your video and embed automated subtitles within several hours after you upload it. You’ll be able to access them in Creator Studio and download the entire text as a single document. Another way to turn your speech into text is using Google Docs.

Simply open a new text document in Google Drive, go to Tools and choose Voice Typing. One great thing about this feature – you can transcribe text in various languages, not just English. Note, voice typing works better if you’re using it in Google Chrome browser on a desktop. However, you can do it on a smartphone as well – just make sure to minimize background noise when recording.

Finally, there are few dedicated smartphone apps for converting speech into text. iPhone users may give Dictation a try. It is free and provides a pretty accurate transcription that can be edited, and afterword saved as a file or send via email.

Free keyword research tool – Ubersuggest

You may have heard about YouTube video optimization already, and therefore you know that tags have a significant impact on what search queries your video will be shown to. That said, using keywords in tags – as well as titles and descriptions – is quite important. Yet, what’s more important is using the right ones.

Keywords have few characteristics, but you should focus on two main ones: search volume and competition. The former shows how many times per month a keyword is searched for, the latter is a definition of how hard it will be to rank to the chosen keyword based on its competition level. As a beginner, you might want to target keywords and key phrases with high search volume and low competition.

There are quite a few great tools for keyword research and Ubersuggest is one of them. It’s free straightforward and doesn’t even require a sign-up. Simply type in the keyword you had in mind for your video and check the suggestions to choose the best option. Ignore the CPC column because it is intended for search engine marketers paying for ads placement among search results. Alternatively, you can perform the research using Keyword Planner from Google. It’s also free and intuitive, however, you’ll need to create an Adwords account first.

Go to Ubersuggest.

Free tool for social media posting: Buffer

Social media post scheduler is another timesaver. Once you publish a new video, you probably rush to all your social media channels to spread the word. Buffer helps you schedule post sharing on multiple networks simultaneously and make sure everything looks neat. When scheduling each post, you are able to see how it will look in the timeline, and whether text or image adjustments are required.

When it comes to videos, you can upload them directly to Buffer using the composer and they will be posted natively on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Instagram. Or you can publish a link to your video that is already on YouTube. You may want to use the former to post short video fragments or teasers to generate interest, and the latter – to generate views after your video has been published.

The free version allows for connecting up to 3 social media accounts and scheduling up to 10 posts per month. Note that if you sign up for Bit.ly to shorten the links before sharing them, you’ll be able to see the statistics on how your followers are clicking on them, and which ones contribute traffic to your videos.

Sign up for Buffer.

Free stock materials: Unsplash, Pixabay, AudioBlocks, and Envato Market

Sooner or later you will need high-quality media for your channel: background music for the videos, graphics, and images for thumbnails or creative effects. While there are millions of media files available on the Internet, one thing you want to avoid is violating copywrite laws. Therefore, it’s best if you find few stock resources in advance and bookmark them.

Unsplash is among the best destinations to go for free photos and images that don’t require attribution – meaning you can freely use them in your projects. Pixabay is another amazing source of photos, illustrations, vector graphics, and videos available for free even for commercial use.

For music, sound effects, and audio loops, you can check out AudioBlocks. This website is a huge library of royalty-free materials you can use for personal and commercial projects.

Finally, there is Envato Market, where you can get up to 8 media files for free every month after joining the community. That includes songs, pictures, templates, graphics, site themes, and much more. Bookmark the Monthly Freebies page on your browser to check what is available at zero cost. Besides free creatives, Envato is great at sharing inspiring materials. Just pick a topic on Envato Community, and explore the recent articles about trends, useful tips, tricks, and tutorials.

Making the Best Online Videos and YouTube Channel Possible

There is no right way to start a YouTube channel and lead it to success. Yet, whether you have a text blog or a personal channel, one thing is true for both – content is the king. Hopefully, with the tools shared in this post, you may be able to automate your workflow and far better focus on what matters the most.

  • 104
  • 12
  •  
  •  
  •  
Continue Reading

Trending