Year over year, consumers are going to social media to ask questions about product features, the status of their order, any issues, refunds and there’s way more where those came from. For this reason, the two have become incredibly intertwined.
Let’s talk about what the major goals of social media are:
- Increase loyalty and transparency with the brand and the audience
- Enhance engagement
- Eventually, lead these consumers to purchase
With a community growing based on loyalty and transparency, it’s clear that if they’re not hearing quick support from your live chat or email -- they’ll hop onto where they know you also communicate. Like we chatted about in the Impact of Responding to Social Media Comments social media’s all about two-way communication and it can become a real driver for customer support.
It’s become a marketing channel where people believe they can get answers… fast and also get accurate answers without being redirected to another place. In order to give your customers the best experience possible, you’ll want to put the most connected people in front of them to answer questions -- and those people are on your customer support team.
Though the main mission of social media will always be at the heart of marketing, all channels evolve and when it comes to these platforms, it’s especially true.
At the end of the day, for many brands, social media should be a collaborative effort, so let’s dig into the reasons behind this and which facets should be managed by marketing versus customer support.
Post Creation for Engagement
When it comes to using content calendars and creating posts that drive engagement across social channels, this would fall under marketing.
Social media works as a channel to enhance campaigns and spark discussion around the brand, and your marketing team knows best how to do that.
Your marketing team will be able to strategically place post ideas while understanding what images and designs are needed to spark engagement. Plus, in a world where sharing is king on social media, your marketing team has the mind that can create something truly engaging for the audience.
Another reason why your marketing team is the right pick for this one, is because they’re constantly staying on top of trends happening on social media -- which we all know is constantly evolving and changing.
That being said, your marketing team should work closely with customer support to develop this content. Why? Because your customer support team knows what people are asking, what people are interested in and more which can spark information for engaging posts that will resonate with the audience.
Retweets, Regrams & Sharing
As the marketing team typically has an overview of what’s happening on social and constantly looking at different hashtags and accounts, they’re best suited to just what to share on the page. They’re also best suited to know when exactly these should be shared, and how, based on the schedule they have in place.
Should it be featured on Instagram Stories?
What about sharing that company’s blog to Facebook?
Would this make sense to retweet to our followers? How can we enhance it to spark engagement on our page?
These are all questions (and more) your marketing team will ask themselves before just pressing the retweet button.
That being said, though marketing should be managing social media, your customer support team can play a massive role in feeding retweets, regrams and sharing posts on your brand’s feed.
Customer support can work to drive people to share their positive experiences on social and flag the marketing team that it’s coming. On top of this, oftentimes if people have posted on social media they flag the support team, so they’re able to let marketing know.
With marketing and customer support working together in this way, you’re giving customers the recognition they crave and the engagement they expect from a brand they’re loyal to. This creates customers with a higher lifetime value, and ambassadors that will continue sharing your products with friends and family.
Cross Promotion & Brand Partnerships
When it comes to cross promotion and partnerships with other brands, this would fall completely into the marketing team’s hands. Oftentimes marketing teams already have a roster of potential brands and creators to work with that would benefit the company in terms of sales, engagement or expanding awareness.
The marketing team is also able to look at these partnerships strategically to benefit the overall marketing efforts. For example, if you’re launching a product, your marketing team will have a better idea of what that timeline looks like and can therefore line up cross promotional posts with partners strategically to ensure consistent messaging is going out for the launch date and weeks after.
Now, here’s another one that involves dual effort!
Overall, ambassador networks (including influencer partnerships) should all be managed by the marketing team because in the end… that's exactly what it is. Your ambassador network can eventually grow into a massive sales driver, so it’s important to pay close attention to your strategy.
Oftentimes marketing teams look at influencers with high follower counts, but in reality ambassadors that have bought from you or smaller influencers that have used your product before can actually bring in more ROI for your brand than you think. These accounts have a must more trusting following, one that doesn’t constantly question them and one that actually reads the copy they write about the product.
With VIP customers being the strongest brand ambassadors, it’s clear that customer support can and should have a strong tie in this area as well. Your support team knows your customers the most, and if they’re a VIP and ambassador, they probably REALLY know them. That’s why when it comes to how to work with them and who to work with, someone from customer support should always be consulted.
When it comes to social media advertising, this is a facet that should strictly fall under the marketing team’s umbrella.
It ties directly into the campaign plans and also has a budget that marketing will be working with. Not only this, but your marketing team knows best which creatives and copy work for clicks, conversions and engagement so that you get the best ROI on your advertising.
That being said, one step is often where marketing teams fall short and that’s communicating with customer support.
During times like Black Friday it’s easy for marketing to forget to fill the support team in on what they’re pushing, but it’s absolutely essential that they know exactly what’s being highlighted so they can prepare for the possible influx of customers.
Though the building, optimizing and strategic portion of social media isn’t in the hands of your support team, there is an area that is….
Responding to Comments to Drive Sales
When it comes to responding to comments on both social advertising and organic efforts, having your customer support team focus on this can do more for your brand than you think. It’s a perfect opportunity to answer questions the marketing team may not know directly there and potentially drive more sales directly through posts.
Oftentimes, in advertising especially, people will ask very direct questions about the product, shipping times and more which is something your support team is best at answering. By connecting your social channels to a platform like Gorgias, you’re able to up that response time and make customers and potential ones happier than ever.
Facebook & Instagram Shop
The Facebook and Instagram shop continues to evolve to cater to the customer more and more. Instagram, as we all know, is slowly getting users increasingly used to advertising and shopping directly on the platform as opposed to it being used for a strictly social channel.
Due to that reason, this is something that lies directly in the hands of your marketing team.
They choose products to highlight, imagery to use in order to drive people to the website and buy. It’s when those customers make their way to the website that your customer support team can take over. However, if your marketing team has put a number of different products on the Facebook and Instagram shop, your support team will want to keep an extra eye out on their dashboard for comments, and especially direct messages since people will often ask questions directly in the social platform.
With Shopify App integrations like the Shoppable Instagram Gallery you can even take this to your website directly.
Direct Messaging & Customer Support
Now, this is really where your customer support team can shine when it comes to jumping into social media channels. Direct messages on social platforms usually are related to customer support driven questions like returns, exchanges, specific product requests and more.
So, having your customer support team directly linked up to answer these in a seamless way not only is better for the customer’s overall experience, but also for your marketing team. No longer will marketing be the middleman, asking customer support to help them craft the appropriate answer, now that time is saved.
How to Make These Changes Seamlessly
First and foremost, ensuring that your customer support team has an easy and efficient way to respond to comments and direct messages is essential to the success of social media. With platforms like Gorgias, you can integrate these channels so your support team doesn’t need to even go into the social channels, all new messages and comments from social will appear directly in the dashboard, saving time and making things efficient.
On top of this, ensuring that there’s consistent communication between the two teams regarding campaigns, trends and updates will lead to more strategic social media outcomes leading to greater engagement, and of course sales from the platforms.