Times have changed, and so have the consumers. Unlike was the case a decade or so ago, today’s consumers utilize numerous devices and channels to browse, research, and purchase products and/or services. It has become common for shoppers to use their smartphones to look up products, make online purchases, and either have them delivered at home or choose to pick them up from the retailer.

Businesses have no option but to try and keep up with consumers, regardless of how or where they want to shop. It is no longer enough for you to integrate both the online and physical stores. The only way to provide a full omni channel experience is to seamlessly integrate social platforms. Such platforms have the potential to enhance customer engagement.

Did you know that customers that have multi-channel marketing and support social media offerings experience up to three times more conversion rates? But despite this information being publicly available, only 26% of businesses have made an effort to adopt this strategy. Below is a look at how to integrate social media for a seamless experience.

1. Find Out Where Your Consumers Are

Social listening happens to be a crucial aspect of audience research. It makes it possible for you to determine where would-be consumers prefer to hangout when using the internet. With it, a business owner can track and also analyze conversations related to their industry and brands which are taking place online.

It’s also vital to analyze client trends and patterns, and not just the individual comments made by them. By integrating all the information and data that you have gathered from social listening, it becomes easier for you to enhance your service and enrich the customer data, while also supporting your business offerings in all the available channels.

Social listening can generate additional opportunities that you can use to engage with your clients across multiple channels. Analyzing this data will help you identify the platforms where they spend most of their time. For instance, if you learn that most customers like to use Twitter when making customer service queries, consider establishing a dedicated customer service profile on it.

2. Gather and Centralize All Your Information

Social networking platforms enable business and brand owners to collect varying kinds of customer information. This is information that you can use to come up with personalized or custom offers for your clients. Some of the data that you can gather from these platforms include:

• Some of the issues that your customers have experienced
• Consumer interests
• How they view your brand or business compared to your competitors
• Preferences for interacting with the brand
• If and how the customers may have attempted to contact the business before resorting to using social media

For you to obtain a detailed profile, you will need to gather all the information obtained from multiple social networking platforms. This data must then be centralized in a single shared database, e.g., a CRM (customer relationship management) system.

Ensure that this particular database also gets integrated with the other available platforms. Integration makes it easier for the team to offer cross-platform support.

It’s important to remember that not all issues should or can be tackled publicly on social networking channels. As such, it will be important that an interaction that has started on a given social networking channel gets seamlessly transitioned to another platform, e.g., a call center. It can also be transitioned back to the original channel when the need arises.

3. Integrate Email Marketing and Social Media

Integrating your email marketing strategy with your social media strategy makes it possible for you to come up with additional engagement, potential customers, and gain more leads.

You can achieve this fete by linking to all your active social media channels and using emails to promote all your social media campaigns. It’s also possible to use social media to publish incentives that would see people subscribe to your emails.

Alternatively, consider uploading your existing email subscriber list to the active business social media accounts. It’s a move that will assist you to find your customers who are using social media, to collect more information about them, interact with all customers, and to start generating more targeted ads.

4. Combine Chatbots with Live Customer Support

Many consumers today prefer using chat buttons compared to live conversations. Statistics indicate that close to 72% of adult consumers would rather communicate via digital communication with a brand compared to any other available option.

Social networking platforms enable businesses to offer digital communication via both chatbot support and live chat.

The Value of Live Chat

Studies have shown that using live chat is beneficial to your business in that helps to increase upselling to clients while at the same time reducing the customer bounce rates. The results of a certain study showed that close to 38% of clients bought goods from a business after engaging in a positive live chat session.

A properly-trained customer support team can provide positive experiences, answer complex questions, and resolve problems that would assist in increasing customer loyalty and in boosting sales.

The Value of Chatbots

Chatbots are advantageous in that they help in reducing customer service response time. Clients are likely to rate a business based on the amount of time they had to wait before receiving a response. Around 32% of online shoppers expect a business to respond to their queries within half an hour. 50% of consumers expect this to occur round the clock.

The major issue here is that the current average response time is about five times what the customers expect, with most businesses averaging 157 minutes. At the moment, only 8% of companies can respond within thirty minutes.

Integrating chatbots to your customer service department will ensure that clients are provided with instant responses. This kind of response will make it easier for the brand to separate itself from its competitors. In the process, you also get to leave a lasting impression with your clients.

Blending the Two

For you to enjoy the benefits offered by both, it’s advisable to try and do the following:
• If live chat isn’t available 24/7, publish the hours when it will be available on your business website
• Provide customers with numerous options on how they can get in touch with your company
• Generate an automated response informing the customers that a customer service rep will get back to them within the shortest time possible.

5. Respond to Everything

The success you will achieve on social media is often dependent on your level of engagement. Clients don’t like to be ignored, more so when they have had a negative experience with your business or brand.

Your social media team will, thus, need to be trained on how to monitor keywords related to the business, its services, and the overall industry. Training enables them to catch comments from clients who haven’t tagged the business.

It’s important for the business to constantly be on the lookout for ways that it can use to interact with its audience. Studies have shown that 25% of online consumers engage with businesses via their social media handles because they want to be members of that particular community.
For a business to have an efficient online community, it has to be willing to engage its customers online.

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