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Engaging And Managing Customers On Social Media

The growth of Internet has contributed to a phenomenal transformation of information across the globe. Riding on it, social media companies like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Whatsapp have revolutionized the way users communicate with each other. Due to a huge active user base, social media has become a buzzword and a very attractive proposition in the marketing world. Social media is not just a medium through which any business communicates about its products or services, but is also a channel through which it can engage, interact and build relationships with its own consumers.

However, to have a successful social media strategy, businesses need to consider two key issues, one is the way to engage effectively on social media and other is the way to build trust and relationship in order to create customer value. Effective use of social media is not restricted to the number of likes, tweets, shares or followers. It depends on the way a business engages with its consumers and builds trust and converts the interaction to tangible and monetized business value. An engaged audience will yield more interactions, more followers and maximize the value from social media marketing. Research has suggested that millions of conversations happen at any particular time and thus attention of users has become the greatest bottleneck. Businesses need to publish their campaigns in such a way that they get the maximum attention. Unlike email, it becomes very difficult to harvest relevant conversations from large set of dynamic interactions. Quite often the topic being discussed changes frequently. It is also accompanied with change and churn in the audience. Thus, it is important to know when to publish what, so that the business achieves maximum potential engagement and audience growth. Say for example, publishing a content on a new product or service on social media, at a particular time where the conversations are dominated by national political news, may not receive right kind of response.

In this regard, Social Flow has developed a tool that can help any business build an effective social media strategy that can create a marked positive impact. They convert the arbitrary scheduling of posts into more informed information about when the target audiences are active and what they are engaged with at any given moment. They analyze a bunch of real time data and extract relevant data for the companies. Social Flow analyzes the potential messages and publishes the content based on real-time attention and receptivity on Twitter, Facebook and Pintrest, thereby resulting in greater engagement and attention (traffic, RT’s. @mentions, @replies, Likes, Shares and Comments). Their technology also helps in creating campaigns and building strategy through its recommendations on keywords, audiences, and ad spending. Their social media listening platform and predictive analysis capability enables their customers to execute smart data driven decisions. Such smart data is important for business to create value for its customers.

This leads us to the second issue of building trust with social customers. The impact of ineffective social media strategy such as missing a complaint or feedback, or even ignoring viral negativity can cause a lot of harm to brand reputation. Businesses have a need to identify the customer conversations about the brand and address the issues raised in them. Traditional customer support services approach may not be suitable to handle the complexity of data involved on social media. Unlike phone or email support, where issues come directly to the team, here the issues are scattered  in conversations and posts at different places. It may include a variety of information, emotions, inquiry and requests, which may require different responses from different teams. There is also a possibility that millions of people watch how business reacts to any social inquiry. The agent’s reaction or secondary on-lookers reaction may form a multi-threaded conversation, which needs to be tracked in totality. Social customer service is not restricted to inquiry or complaints, the business must also respond to feedback of the users, thus encouraging customer bonding and engagement with the business. In order to create customer value through social media, the business needs to connect deeply and emotionally with its customers.

One such tool that helps business connect deeply with the customer is Conversocial. It is a cloud based social media management platform that empowers business to deliver better customer experience and decrease the risk of public mistakes. It intelligently groups the public and private messages into meaningful customer conversations, including full history, to determine the context. The in-built prioritization engine, using machine learning, natural language processing and custom keyword listing, helps in identifying priority messages, relevant conversations and escalate them for speedy response. The platform enables collaboration with different teams through its workflow features and helps avoid duplication of efforts and manages high volume messages in accordance with business needs. It has also got powerful analytics and business intelligence features that provide accurate, actionable insights on customer issues, customer satisfaction, resource optimization and operational efficiency.

Like the above-mentioned tools, many other companies like Adobe, Hootsuite, Social 360, Netbase have also focused on social media analytics. Most of these tools have built tremendous capability in using relevant platforms to handle and manage large volumes of data. They also use predictive analysis to determine different types of conversation and sentiments involved in such conversations. Few of the tools have also built capability that can help the business analyze the user level information such as highlighting the influential users within the network groups that are following a brand or talking about it.

However, most of these tools focus mainly on the marketing aspect, because of the importance given by business to social media marketing, and ignore the customer support needs. Social customer support service is key for a business to build trust and stronger relationships with social customers. In the near future business will acknowledge this and will try to build their capability to provide customer services support via social media. This will naturally increase the need to develop a one-stop platform (from publishing to customer support) that can integrate the various components required for handling social media.


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  1. As we all know, Facebook is the king of social media because of its large user base and it has now decreased the organic reach to 10% in order to commercialize their platform via ads. I follow some steps via which you can build your engaged social base:-

    1.) Understand the purpose

    To answer the “what”, you need to think of your social following as a community that you’re building. An effective community, one that engages each other to create a positive change, needs good communication.

    To answer the “why”, you don’t need to look any further than one great example of a successful online community of brand enthusiasts. These loyal followers will practically sell your products and services for you if they’re cultivated and cared for the right way.

    Example – (My own page for dog lovers)

    2.) Plan everything

    Like you have to locate the customer you are targeting, understand their social activities. Decide the social tools you will use. I am planning to use Octosuite social media tool because it can search for some viral and most liked content from the web which we can re-post on our page. It removes the pain of finding and scheduling the content, just set once and forget of some time.

    3.) Schedule your week so that you can be focused and a fixed amount of content reaches your audience. I think 40-40-20 ratio should be followed on business pages. 40% content should be of your own core field, 40% industry related and 20% should be out of the box distributed 4-5 times a day. Timing is decided by testing.

    4.) Customer Relationship is the key part –

    You need to win the trust and goodwill of the people, and inspire them to engage with your brand. And social media plays a vital role in helping customers to understand about a company’s core values. At the same time, social interactions with a customer help a company to understand the requirements and wants of its customers, and the organization can evolve according to the changing needs and habits of its clients. Social media is an effective tool to bridge the gap in a company and its customers. Thus, no organization can afford to lose its perspective on social media in today’s online era. Never leave any customer query unanswered.

    This is a general guide to any social media. Choosing platform according to your business is up to you 🙂

  2. Activity and response time on social media is one of the most telling signs of how proactive an organization is. Social media lets users interact directly and in a timely fashion with businesses, and it is simply wasteful for businesses to not exploit this practice for something like quick feedback redressal. And this itself is contingent on how intelligently businesses can optimize their social media campaigns and outreach in order to most effectively engage most users. Bandit algorithms, recommender systems, A/B testing and many other analytical tools are into play here. This seems to be broadly what Conversocial and Social Flow seem to be doing.

  3. The concept of ‘Social Care’ is becoming a reality and customers are demanding seamless attention right from product delivery to mails to facebook timelines.To cater to needs of customers on the social media, prioritizing time and resources is of utmost importance. The way to be welcomed into social conversations is to add something of value. Segmenting customers and providing value targeting the right segment is crucial.

    Depending on how much volume a business” social media pages generate, it’s important to collect and analyze customer activity so that the kind of issues being raised over social media can be understood. Strong classification algorithms and natural language processing techniques to determine positive and negative aspects of customer discussions need to be applied.

    Also recommending the right product at the right time, by observing user search patterns is vital.

  4. Enhancing a business or an ideology over social media has been a very dynamic move taken up by many companies since the evolution of social networks.It hits the mass pretty fast and the necessary outcomes from their reactions are also gathered pretty easily.The main requirement from all of this is to develop a relationship among the customers,this is possible by establishing a good communication network which is already being provided.Publicity and mass marketing has been a very huge strategy which has helped the social media earn a lot of money and this makes many small pieces of news VIRAL.Crowd-sourcing has been a new trend which has been set up using social media where many like minded people find an idea to be very innovative and they invest in it,this develops a business and also helps people make money out of it. In order to handle crowd in a social media many algorithms have been devised using machine learning so as to let every one use it and promote their ideas.Data analytics can be used to find out what has been most trending over the media,what are subjects regarding which people have been talking so much about this can determine the right time to introduce a new agenda for discussion and also help in gathering relevant information from the users. NLP can be used to determine what are the kinds of reactions users have been giving to a particular product or agenda,this helps the authorities to know what is in the minds of people.That is the reason why social media has made its way in integrating peoples thought and also spreading them across people.

  5. Social Media Platforms helps brands in leveraging their reach to their users. It helps us in increasing the awareness about brand via the help of Content, Ads and Events. This encourages user to see the brand content which is associated with brand reach.
    Social media presence is increased by billions and this community is continuously growing at a fast pace. There are two important factors listed above : Creating Customer value and Building Trust among users. These factors plays a vital role in increasing brand performance. Among users for creating customer value we can propose some events and campaigns which are in favor of our users so that user can engage with the event and which finally helps in building trust value.

  6. Social Media has a penetration of 31% or roughly 2.22 Billion people worldwide. The numbers are large and the amount of information flow through social media daily is also quite large. And the time it takes for a particular piece of information to go
    “viral” is quite low, sometimes even minutes. While studying the way humans react to incidents, it has been noted that people tend to take the negative perspective of things more frequently. This can result in negative things or rather negative information going viral faster than the positive information. Anger and anxiety are some of the negative sentiments which can make a post go viral. Companies know it very well and hence they try to provide support to the customer problems and prevent negative sentiment being spread across the community towards the company and damage its brand image. They are investing in technological and human resources and are constantly researching in the same field.
    Machine Learning has been at the top of these technological researches. ML techniques like natural language processing or text analysis help in classifying the type of post and aids the companies to respond to them on a real time basis. Behind the desk they hire some very smart executives who know how to react to a particular situation. They know it very well that their answers represent their company’s brand image and appeals to a very large audiences.
    In recent times we have seen it clearly how companies have been smartly using social media. Many posts showing the reply from these companies are also going viral and thus adding to their brand value. Even the Governments have started using social media. Indian government ministers like Sushma Swaraj, Suresh Prabhu and some others are constantly in news and are being applauded to resolve the problems of consumers.
    It is very well known that building a brand takes time while the same brand can come down in no time. Even a slightest ignorance can damage the brand value so social media marketing occupies greater importance while developing strategies.

  7. The major advantage of engaging customers on social media is People tend to believe familiar people more than descriptions or reviews of your goods on your webpage. If you keep your current customers satisfied and happy, ultimately they will be the one who will promote your brand to their friends and acquaintances.
    thats major advantage of engaging customers on social media.

  8. Customer no longer buying product and services based on advertisement and brand .With more accessibility to information over web they have more options .The rise of social media has had a massive impact on how customers make decisions about their purchases. Most brands understand the concept of promotion using social media but few understand how to engage and build trust with potential customer.

    I strongly support the idea of customer support and feedback for developing trust rather then just promoting product on social media platform.

  9. There is no doubt that social media powers the community for which most all websites work from in today’s world. The ability to connect with others at the touch of a button through several apps such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram gives businesses the ability to interact with perspective clients from said clients pocket.
    In recent months Facebook has rolled out the “message and reply” system on its “like” fan pages, and now has a button on each profile which tells the response rate of that page…this is an effective tool that lets the target audience know just how much the business is willing to help the customer. Now this may lead to more negative feedback, but even that could be helpful to the admin looking to better how things run on the page as well.

    Great Article!

  10. Social Media has always been an integral part of everyones lives, the analytics platform for social media helps each companies differently in analyzing their consumers behavior online, it has become important to analyze the trend and adapt it according to the operational domain of the company, with proper identification and analysis companies can come up with a new brand strategy, posts which can further help their brand image. But social media is not all about digital marketing is it. Many of us reach out to the social media handle of the companies to register complaints, provide feedback and request for upcoming developments, it could be through a post, comment on a post or a direct message to the social media team, as mentioned in the post above there is a different department for each type of request who are experts on that particular domain, however multiple teams for each different type of request doesn’t help the company in terms of scalability and operational costs. The best option would be to use the tools to determine and mine the data from the social media accounts analyze it and determine where the company is lacking. Strengthening that domain should be priority one as then the company can better connect with their consumers.

    Social media tool Conversocial as mentioned can be considered a strategic move required by the companies if they want to understand the trends followed by their consumers and categorize the requests based on the priority keywords. So if a consumer A sends a text,” Loved the work” and Consumer B sends a text,” I didn’t like the work!” the priority response should be set to the negative feedback for the root cause analysis and these are just two consumers on the social media is a lot more than one can imagine, the proper set of analytics tool needs to be applied over the page or the account for proper functioning and proper responses for each and every message/comments.

    In conclusion, engaging and managing customers on Social media is not an easy task, as even one negative feedback leaves a bad impression for the other users who are yet to use the services, the proper responses need to be set forth to handle the issues with care and as decently as possible. Also if the company lacks behind in their analytics platform for the latest trends online, it will definitely lack behind in properly engaging it’s consumers. Proper analysis is very important if one wants the social media page/account to be successful.

  11. In an increasingly social world which is spending more and more time online, it has become incredibly important for businesses to be able to maintain and develop their brand status, in order to set themselves apart from it’s competitors. The simplest of marketing ideas can make the campaign go viral, but at the same time, the smallest of actions can have huge consequences. Case in point, when Sachin Tendulkar was asked for his full name after a British airways flight misplaced his luggage, the airline came under fire so severely, that this became a trending topic on all social media sites.

    Having said this, without an effective tool to monitor online trends in real time, being in control of your brand presence online becomes really difficult. This article is especially relevant for B2C and C2C companies, as negative customer reviews and complaints can greatly hurt the company’s reputation. But some creative campaigns have the potential to boost sales. Zomato is a great example of this. In the past couple of years, they have had some truly simple but creative campaigns. One look at their Twitter feed and Facebook posts is evidence enough of the same.

  12. With the emergence of such businesses backed by millions of algorithms and data analytics to predict and analyse the customers’ thought process may help businesses up to a certain limit. They fail badly when the trends and thinking of the new world is influenced and changed in a short amount of time. They need constant updates and lacks the emotional intelligence to understand the human behaviour. Use of such products also kills creativity and the adrenaline rush of risk taking and acting on intuitions.

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