February 16, 2022

Impact of Social Media on Customer Experience

Nearly 4 billion people around the globe use social media today, equating to almost 51% of the world’s population. With numbers like that, it’s no wonder social media is quickly becoming an important piece of the CX puzzle.

The impact of social media on customer experience is undeniable, especially when compared to companies that don’t leverage these platforms.

Below, we’ll explain why social media plays such a major role in enhancing the customer experience from all sides and what steps you can take to leverage your social channels for a better CX.

How Social Media Supports the Customer Experience

Customer experience is the sum of interactions a brand has with customers across all channels, which, of course, includes social media. Leveraged right, social media can be both a research tool for discovering pain points in the customer journey and a channel for reaching the right customers at the right time.

Channels like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube allow for easy consumer accessibility where your brand can

  • Meet and engage on the customers’ preferred platform(s.)
  • Share interesting, relevant content.
  • Build and nurture relationships with prospects and customers.
  • Encourage empathic behaviors towards your product/service/overall brand.

In sum, if well-utilized, social media can help generate free marketing.

How to Improve Customer Experience on Social Media

A recent Harvard Business Review Analytic Services Survey found that companies successful in comprehensively integrating social media and customer experience are able to deliver experiences for their customers that outperform their competitors. Translated, this means faster growth and more dominant positions for said companies in their respective markets.

Here are a few steps you can take to improve the customer experience by leveraging your socials:

1. Get to Know Your Audience

The first step in streamlining your CX strategy is understanding your customers. Social media offers the perfect opportunity to see that brand-customer relationship in action.

Use this knowledge to help inform all of your future marketing efforts as it can serve as the foundation for the customer experience for your brand.

Your social presence provides a window into who your target audience is—the real people behind the buyer personas and demographic breakdowns.

  • Who do they follow?
  • What are their interests?
  • How do they talk about their problems?
  • How often do they like, comment on, and share content?

Keep in mind that a poor CX can result in bad word of mouth as today’s tech-savvy customer isn’t afraid to vent, criticize, or reprimand brands on social media.

On the other hand, by monitoring conversations online across social media channels, you can unlock critical consumer insights, which, in turn, can help you make sense of the different segments that make up your customer base.

Understanding the customers and where they are in their journey is essential to formulate strategies that guide the overall experience you deliver—from the language you use in your marketing materials and ad campaigns to the products and features you develop, as well as the targeting tactics you use to bring in new leads.

2. Capture Feedback

Social media is rife with lively discussions, with many users using these platforms as a forum to broadcast their concerns or share feedback on their favorite—and least favorite—brands. Leveraged, this information can be advantageous for businesses looking to get a better sense of their customers’ needs and tastes, particularly when introducing new products and services.

Some of the most effective ways for your brand to collect feedback on social media include:

  • Directly interacting with your customers by replying to comments or direct messages.
  • Running a social media contest or giveaway to create a sense of urgency.
  • Sending direct messages to individual accounts asking them to participate in a poll.
  • Creating an online survey and offering discount codes or inexpensive gift cards to users who complete it.
  • Using social media listening tools that monitor comments, hashtags, keywords, direct/indirect mentions, and anything else relevant to your company.

Ultimately, the goal is ensuring that A—you’re building a complete picture of your customers, B—that information is captured and analyzed, and C—that each team understands how to use those insights to improve the customer experience–based on their role.

3. Provide Support on All Preferred Channels and Respond ASAP

Ideally, you want to be everywhere customers are and where they’d expect to find you. Having the proper customer support tools in place in the right spots will allow you to respond quickly and effectively, regardless of platform or channel.

But there’s a caveat—you should only be on as many channels as you can actively maintain.

For example, it’s not helpful if you launch a TikTok channel because your customers are there without understanding the platform or engaging with customers. Same goes for the “support@company.com” inbox that rarely gets checked.

4. Build Strong Bonds

Customer experience on social media is not always about driving the sale.

Social media enables brands to keep nurturing relationships, even when customers aren’t actively looking for new solutions.

In order to keep that momentum going, show customers that you’re not just a faceless entity, but a brand that genuinely appreciates their business with values. Showcase where you’re taking social responsibility or give back to the community.

Think of companies like Chipotle and Wendy’s who have garnered a reputation for setting the gold standard for customer service on Twitter.

Additionally, retailers can build loyalty programs and influencer campaigns focused on building brand affinity and rewarding “insiders.” Launching VIP groups on Facebook, Reddit, and other platforms can help enable community members to connect with each other.

On the B2B side, brands might focus their efforts on hosting live streams and other events, creating and participating in e.g., LinkedIn Groups.

In other words, engage with both prospects and loyal buyers outside of the typical sales cycle.

Final Thoughts

Customer experience is everything—it’s your messaging, social interactions, sales process, post-sale marketing, customer support. In short, it is every part of the customer journey.

But the impact of social media on customer experience can’t be understated.

Without your ducks in a row, customer experience ultimately suffers and requires consumers to be patient–not something today’s customers have in spades.

3Pillar Global can help take your customer experience to the next level. Contact us today to learn more about our process, services, and the advantages of our digital innovation solutions.

Special thanks to these members of FORCE, 3Pillar’s expert network, for their contributions to this article.

FORCE is 3Pillar Global’s Thought Leadership Team comprised of technologists and industry experts offering their knowledge on important trends and topics in digital product development.