How to Use Social Media as a Customer Feedback Tool
Customers value companies that value their opinion, and social media is a powerful way to solicit this feedback.
- People expect to be able to offer their feedback to brands via social media channels.
- Surveys and polls are an effective way to get customer feedback from customers who follow you on social media.
- Solicit feedback by asking for it.
In a perfect world, customers would tell you how they feel. In the real world, you’re hearing from a barely engaged vocal minority. One company’s research based on data from 1,400 apps shows that this is just 1%.
You’ve got to be proactive. You have to ask customers if you want to gather and act on their feedback, and there’s no better or more effective way to do this than with social media. Here’s how to get the conversation going.
Are you listening?
People expect brands to use their social channels to receive feedback. It’s a growing expectation. It’s why social listening is our top recommendation as the foundation of your efforts to use social media as a customer feedback tool.
Social listening means you monitor your social media channels for feedback or direct mentions. This could be regarding a specific topic or even a competitor. From there, you will analyze the insights and act on them.
Besides increasing customer acquisition and discovering new opportunities, studies show that 83% of those surveyed said they appreciate it when brands respond to questions asked on social media.
It’s not all about compliments, though. Monitoring social media allows you to respond to those who take to social media to express their displeasure with your brand.
Why is this crucial? The bad news about bad news is that it reaches twice as many people than praise. Then it will take 12 positive experiences to make up for just one unresolved negative experience.
Once you make sure your eyes and ears are pointed in the right direction, it’s time to turn up the dial on persuading consumers to tell you what’s on their mind.
Increase your updates
Customers (and those you want to become customers) follow you on social media because you’ve succeeded in finding a place in their worldview. Don’t be a stranger.
We all know at least one person who just isn’t capable of figuring out how to edit the details of what’s going on in their lives. They mean well but engaging them means having to endure a seemingly never-ending list of insignificant details. And all the while, you’re thinking, “Do you ever listen to yourself? Do you ever stop and think about whether what you’re saying has any relevance or connection to me and make me want to talk to you?”
Words – or in this case, questions – to live by.
Followers do want to know what your brand is doing, especially when they can see how it will affect them. Keep in mind that you probably aren’t the reason they decided to check their social media feed, so don’t be afraid to go for the ask. Solicit feedback by asking for it.
Asking a question triggers a human reflex called instinctive elaboration. The best types of questions that work on this have these elements:
- Easy to answer because they don’t require too much thinking.
- Invite an impulsive or emotional answer.
- Revolve around a current hot topic or trend.
- Promote open-ended discussions.
There are already too many demands for our time on social media. Most people will not leave a comment even when you give them a relevant post and a sincere request. ABC News-owned blog FiveThirtyEight.com polled 8,500 internet commenters to understand when and why they chose to engage online. The top reasons included:
- They wanted to add something they knew about the subject.
- The topic resonated with them.
- They wanted to add a personal experience.
- They disagreed with your post.
Otherwise, you’re likely to get just a “like.” One way to take advantage of this is to include surveys and polls as social media posts.
The most popular platforms make this easy, and they even offer creation tools. Facebook’s Polls for Page creator, for example, takes you from start to finish – even offering video assistance on how the information can help you use the feedback results. Plus, social media users appreciate not being dragged away to another website, and you’re remembered in a positive light for being respectful of their time while still finding out what’s on their minds.
Many of the integrated poll/survey tools used by social media platforms already offer a form of instant gratification by rewarding participants with results. Consider adding an incentive if you want to increase poll or survey response rates. Contests are a proven way to increase participation, especially when people have extra chances to win by encouraging others in their respective networks to participate, too.
People are more willing to give you feedback when they’re confident that you’re attentive and responsive. Sooner, rather than later. It’s why a growing number of brands that successfully use social media for feedback also use chatbots.
Like poll and survey tools, the major social media platforms offer this functionality, and chatbot usage growth is projected to be 136% by the end of the year. Nearly 60% of customers say this type of immediate acknowledgment and engagement has changed their expectations of companies.
Don’t ask, unless
Social media offers highly effective ways to get feedback from customers – but be careful what you ask. The expectations are high and getting higher. The feedback you receive must be acted upon, and you must acknowledge it. Both the good and the bad.
It’s a fair exchange for being able to take to social media at the drop of a hat and get input from your customers. Best of all, what you learn from customer feedback this way makes for awesome future posts and feature content.
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