When brands take on a social customer care program, they are often eager to dive in straight away. Hold it right there! There are many important steps and details to take into account before getting into the nitty-gritty.
One of the many things companies struggle with when kicking off social customer care is handling the large volume of incoming mentions effectively. Once they start monitoring and determining the keywords they should search for, they notice they’re pulling in too much volume and noise. Soon, their social media inbox will start exploding.
You can’t expect yourself to be great at everything at once. That’s why you need to start simple and take it step by step. That doesn’t mean things should slow down. Once you notice you are able to handle a step with success, you’re ready for the next level and can take it up it a notch.
Step 1: Monitor your own social profiles. First and foremost, you need to start tracking what’s coming in from your own social profiles and grasp the volume of questions and complaints you get from customers reaching out to you directly. Connect your own social profiles to analyze when (at what time of the day/during which specific days in the week) your customers reach out the most to your brand. This way you can also determine when you need to be active on social.
Step 2: Search for hashtags. Next, once you’ve become successful at handling mentions directed at your own social profiles, start adding in hashtags to your keyword search. For example, you can search for your own specific product models (e.g. for specific car models, kitchen supplies, etc.) or the different brands within your company to further determine the scope of how your customers are talking to your brand. When you start searching for hashtags, you’ll notice you’ll probably track a lot more noise. Here’s where you need to determine closely which type of incoming messages need an action and which do not.
Step 3: Monitor for brand mentions. Beyond tracking ‘@mentions’ and hashtags, you can now also search for people mentioning your brand. Similar to searching for hashtags, you will pull in a lot of noise too. It’s simply a matter of excluding certain keywords to track those conversations that really matter to your brand. This is a trial and error process: if you notice the data is irrelevant, take a step back and adjust your keyword search.
Step 4: Monitor for (other) relevant keywords. Now that you have a full overview of how people are talking to your brand, you can start tracking conversations proactively. You might even discover potential sales opportunities. Searching for specific keywords relevant to your industry can also be useful to start detecting crises. For example, if you’re a cosmetics company, you can search for keywords such as ‘mascara’, ‘skin products’, and ‘skin care’.
Taking it step by step allows you to tackle the volume of incoming mentions that are relevant (which can be daunting for many brands) in a meaningful way. If you start monitoring for all relevant keywords all at once, you’ll probably struggle with keeping your head above water. If you really want to win at social customer care, you have to be patient, have a proper strategy in place, and stay agile to to tweak your keyword search at all times.