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  • Writer's pictureLiz Maguire

Social Media: Where Customer Service Meets Marketing.

In this day and age, customers want to get in touch with brands 'lickety-split'. One survey even reports that 80% of consumers use social media to engage with brands. The same study suggests that brands find answering a customer causes a 25% increase in 'customer advocacy'. It gets even better -- 37% of those surveyed expected to get a response from the customer service team of a brand within 30 minutes of sending a message.

If you've ever had reason to contact a brand via social media -- and according to the study at the top of this post, more than likely you have! -- there are no doubt a few touchpoints you admired.

  • The agent or an automated system replied promptly to your message.

  • The agent used your name and/or there's in the communication.

  • The agent solved your query on the spot and/or took your details and resolved the issue in a timely manner.

Herein, we'll be referring to customer service 'agent' who in some instances may be an employee or even yourself. Depending on the size of your operation, you might be the finance, shipping, marketing, customer service and janitor of your business. That's why it's important to understand the bare basics of a clean customer service experience across social media. In this post we'll look at


The numbers don't lie! From the time a message comes in to your brand inbox, you are on the clock. There are some ways to help with this pressure. You can automate a response via Facebook or Instagram to immediately reply to a query. This will satisfy the response time but it won't do much by way of actually helping the individual asking the question, which is where your potential conversion therein profit lies. 51% of respondents interviewed in the survey above were 'likely to become repeat' customers of a brand which replied to their query on social media.

Whether you choose to go with an automated placeholder and respond later, or be on call 24/7 there's one thing that can help: setting up a system. Consider setting up an automated response for the 'evening' when you might not be near your phone but be sure to prioritize replying to any messages that come in overnight, first. If you go with an automated placeholder round the clock, be aware that without follow up those individuals are not going to feel as attended to as those in the survey who might return a brand time and again with a little TLC (Tender Loving Care) courtesy of customer service.


Do you know the fastest way to make someone feel acknowledged? Use their name! In a a study from the University of Milwaukee, researchers found individuals responded positively towards their name on a coffee cup and negatively to an incorrect name on their coffee cup. Individuals who were misidentified reported being less likely to order again. This personalization and misidentification study came away with a fascinating conclusion: misidentified individuals felt less respected.

Perhaps someone ordered from your brand and were disappointed by the product, or maybe someone is about to checkout but not sure about one final detail. Besides replying promptly the next best thing you can do is use their name in your reply. It shows that you -- the 'agent'-- have read and understood the initial message. Obviously only use the name instances where it is publicly available (i.e. if a social media profile has been used) and feel free to personalize your message from there. Reference their initial comment but hold true to your brand voice in your reply.

Users want to believe that they are messaging a brand directly. They want to feel they know who is on the other side of the screen, even if three people may be responding to messages. Signing the agent's message "Thanks, NAME" gives the user something to refer back to if they get in touch with your brand again -- or in the best case, leave a UGC review and reference your customer service.


Perhaps this goes without saying but whether you're using an automated reply or a personalized response, actually resolving your users query is going to be the biggest deciding factor in whether or not they convert. Make sure that you 'close the feedback loop' as it's sometimes called, between a user opening a query and your agent responding. From shipping delays to service login issues, your social media channels can be powerful tools for answering user queries when they are attended and maintained.


Individuals prefer interacting with brands and their customer services teams in-app rather than over the phone. By using responsiveness, personalization and resolution to your advantage in your strategy potential customers may feel seen enough to hit 'order'.

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