Last week I described our social media monitoring and response pilot, and this week I’d like to talk about some key takeaways and lessons learned while working on the pilot.
Leveraging knowledge across the enterprise is key
Developing a First Responders list enabled our team to respond quickly, while leveraging key skills and expertise throughout SAS worldwide. We also learned about our existing online resources and optimized our searching methods to point users to sites like the SAS Knowledge Base and SAS Community Groups on our customer support website so we could field more technical inquires on our own and point users to existing information.
Be ready to communicate with a worldwide audience
Social media blurs the boundaries of country barriers and provides an open landscape for communication. By listening and monitoring, we were able to engage and add value to a worldwide audience. We realized quickly in the pilot that 50 percent of inquiries and posts we monitored were from outside the US and that US and international contacts were engaging with each other.
Communication tactics and response times vary across social channels
Not all social media channels are created equal. We found that LinkedIn has more business professionals looking for advice and recommendations, and are less tolerant of marketing/sales pushes. Each group has its own norms, is monitored by a group monitor, and holds active members who contribute on a regular basis. Expected turnaround on a reply can vary because posts remain active for days to months and many users search previous discussions to gather information on certain topics of interest.
Twitter response time expectations are more immediate. Messages are short and typically express more emotions with content following a shorter life cycle. While content does not carry over months like with LinkedIn, you will see some of the same people who do tweet often. Prominent users tend to be students, influencers, brand advocates, or adversaries, and subtle pushes from marketing and product messages are more acceptable.
Overall, the marketing contact center has enjoyed our crash course in social media and the opportunities it has provided to help SAS customers and amplify their successes. It has been fun to develop rapport with customers and create a brand voice for our responses that is swift, agile and real.