We often think of social media platforms as places to share information, and gain interesting information from others. Whether it’s visual, through photos, or via language in captions – on the surface, we’re all there to share info.
But for businesses – social media is more than a newsstand. It’s also where our customers and loyal fans come to interact with us. Similar to your public phone number, or contact email address on your website, social media is increasingly where your customers are headed to get their questions about you answered, or to share with you how their experiences with your business went. And that means you should be treating your social media profiles as customer service tools.
As noted by Social Media Today, “as more businesses jump on the social customer care train, that then raises the bar of expectation for others. These days, consumers expect to be able to shoot businesses a quick message, or tweet a brand handle and get a reply.”
In the same way that you wouldn’t neglect your business’ voicemail or email inboxes, it’s important to treat your social media notifications as an important avenue that you check daily in order to respond to questions and feedback in a timely manner.
It’s great to have a regular plan for posting to social media. But that can’t be all you do. If you or someone on your team isn’t taking the time to log in frequently and acknowledge the customers reaching out to you through those platforms after you’ve posted, then you’re neglecting to provide good customer service.
What exactly do I mean by acknowledging and checking in?
- Scrolling through your notifications to see if any followers have left comments on your posts, and liking or responding to those comments
- Seeing if any customers or other brands have tagged your winery in a post, and liking and commenting on them, if appropriate. (Thank customers for visiting you!)
- Checking your winery’s private message inboxes on all platforms for any nice mentions of you, urgent questions, or feedback you should address.
- Responding in a timely manner to any of the above
I’ve noticed many a winery that fails to do all or any of the above in a timely manner, and I’ve seen excited customers become discouraged after being ignored on social media by their favorite brands.
As a marketing consultant that works with small wineries, I know time is in short supply. But when wineries (or any businesses, really) neglect to monitor the kinds of interaction and notifications listed above from their followers and customers, they are missing out on opportunities to provide positive, helpful customer service touchpoints!
Meaghan Webster is a wine and food photographer, marketing consultant, and results-based social media manager for wineries in Washington, DC, Virginia, and New York. Learn more about her services at meaghanwebster.com or see her latest work and tips at instagram.com/meaghanwmarketing.
In addition to managing social media and taking photos for clients, Meaghan is also available to host classes, lessons, and one-on-one workshops on social media best practices for brands. Interested in booking a workshop or class? Get in touch here!