cPanel Conference 2012: Social Media For Customer Service

(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – Class was in session with cPanel Strategic Partner Manager, Mario Rodriguez today at the 2012 cPanel Conference in Houston, TX. The topic: Social Media for Customer Service, where Rodriguez explored the basic ins-and-outs of using social media to gain and engage customers.

Social Media Sites

With over 500 social media websites and applications available today, business owners have many choices when starting a social media campaign. And with so many people today participating in the realm of social media, no business owner can afford not to participate in some form of social media to engage with customers and to promote their brand, products, or services.

As of today, there are 3 social networking sites that contain more than 100 million users: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. While it seems these 3 sites are a must for any business to participate in, one must always know where your customers or potential customers are and campaign on that network.

Knowing Your Customers

Social Media has forever changed the way people communicate about a company’s product or service. Now  days, with the average user containing over 200 friends/contacts, one unsatisfied customer can translate into hundreds of unsatisfied customers in the blink of an eye. Because of this, it is very important to constantly engage your customers online. If there is a problem, diffuse the situation quickly and ask questions to better understand the problem your customer is having. Engaging and reacting quickly to a complaint can be the difference in having many satisfied and loyal customers who refer your business to others, or unhappy customers that may talk badly about your company in front of countless other social users.

Deepening Your Social Presence

Keeping your customers or fans interested in your social page is a must for a successful campaign and brand. There are many things you can do to keep your page fresh and to make people want to interact:

  • Continuously grow by gaining customers/fans organically, not by purchasing them. While it will definitely be a slower rate of growth, purchasing can definitely send out the wrong impressions about your company.
  • Offer incentives to your customers for engaging with your site. Whether it be rewards, prizes, or discounts, incentives are a proven method to gain interest in people.
  • Keep your customers informed about your company. If you have news or press releases, make sure you post the information on your social sites just as you would on your website.
  • Be repetitive with your contact information. Often times, it is easy to overlook content on a page. Make sure your contact information, whether it be your phone number, email, or URL is easily found at all times. One example would be to include your contact information when talking about your products or services in a post.

Listen, Learn, Engage

The three most important tips for any social media campaign are to Listen, Learn, and Engage. Follow these three tips and you will be on your way to gaining loyal customers:

  • Listen – Most social users know that when they make a comment about your business, that there is someone on the other end who knows what has been said. It is important that your customers know you are listening to them and to let them know this. Like, comment, or repost things your customers have to say and take advice from some of your customer’s opinions.
  • Learn – Asking questions can be one of the most important things you can do to make an unhappy customer, happy again. If there is a negative post, comment and ask how you can make things better. Receive their feedback and find out why they are making that statement.
  • Engage – And finally, after you have listened and learned from your customers, it is important to keep them engaged. Always keep listening and asking questions and make sure you never offer more than you can deliver.