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The Two Types of Social Media Engagement

Mike Schneider
By Mike Schneider on Aug 4, 2014 8:18:00 AM

The terms “customer engagement” and “social media engagement” have been hackneyed by software vendors, thought-leaders and consultants over the past five years to the degree that it’s become confusing for those evaluating software to understand who provides what.

social_customer_service

Once defined by most as simply likes, retweets and shares, the meaning of social media engagement has split into two directions: outbound, marketing social media engagement and inbound, social customer service engagement.

Outbound/marketing social media engagement:

  • What it is: How many people engaged with content published by a brand on a given social channel (or multiple channels)
  • Goal: Increase awareness and improve brand reputation through attractive content; specifics vary from increasing
  • How it’s measured: likes/favorites, shares/retweets, “reach”, proprietary “influence” scores, clicks
  • How to be the best at it:
    ––Marketing engagement software that allows analysis of best posting time, shows influencers who engaged
    ––Well-allocated spend for amplification (e.g. sponsored stories, promoted Tweets, etc)

Inbound/social customer service engagement:

  • What it is: How well a brand responds to customer enquiries, comments or questions
  • Goal: Provide the best service experience possible in the shortest amount of time and with the fewest resources necessary to do so
  • How it’s measured: % responded to; response time; first response time, handling time & average handling time
  • How to be the best at it:
    ––Dedicated social customer service software that enables tracking of SLAs, and key customer service metrics like FRT and AHT
    ––Team trained in social customer service best practices

Both are no doubt important for brands who want to take advantage of social media. Yet, as you can see, the two really couldn’t be more different. Optimizing outbound marketing engagement is a nice-to-have that can greatly increase brand awareness and ultimately drive conversions. Inbound customer service over social media, however, is now essential for brands; if your customers are requesting service over channels such as Facebook and Twitter, you have an obligation to respond in a way that provides a great experience.

Additionally, the act of preventing a negative customer issue from spinning out of control, or providing a great experience that the customer wants to tell everyone they know about, can provide even greater ROI in the long run than trying to ensure customers engage with content broadcasted by marketing. Research from Bain & Company shows that when companies engage and respond to customer service requests over social media, those customers end up spending 20% to 40% more with the company. If that wasn't enough, the American Express Global Customer Service Barometer found that 42% of people will tell their friends about a good customer experience on social, while 53% will talk about a bad one.

For the enterprise, there is no one-size-fits all solution that provides both types of engagement––each requires different training, different software with fundamentally different workflows and specific features, and different ways to measure success.

When it comes to outbound marketing and social media engagement there are many great tools out there for businesses of all shapes and sizes. At Conversocial we’ve created the best platform to provide efficient and secure customer service over social media at a large scale.

Topics: Customer Service, Best Practices

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