Social media is a big part of many people’s lives, and thus social messaging is becoming an increasingly effective way for businesses to connect with customers and prospects.
Facebook recently commissioned a Nielsen study of 12,500 users across 14 markets and combined it with global Facebook data to examine the social messaging habits of more than one billion people. They found that 56% of customers would rather message a business than call customer service and 61% of customers enjoy receiving personalized messages from a business.
They also found that:
- 63% of respondents have increased their messaging with businesses within the past two years and expect this to increase.
- 69% find the ability to message businesses convenient.
- 63% said being able to chat with a business makes them feel more positive about the organization, 59% said it makes them feel like the business cares about them, and 55% said it makes them more likely to trust a business.
Social messaging communication may change depending on the nature of your business — be it B2B or B2C — but in either case it is an important method of communicating to achieve your business goals.
For instance, say that one of your business goals is to increase sales by 10% this year. In a B2C environment, social messaging can help you directly respond to customer inquiries or complaints, send targeted messages to identified prospects, and use social analytics to find new marketing opportunities.
You can also make use of social messaging in a B2B environment. If, for example, you follow your current customers on social media, you might see them post news or announcements regarding their business. You also may see them interact with other vendors or suppliers that could be potential customers for your business. You can use the same social messaging methods to either deepen your existing relationship with your current customer (by congratulating them on achievements, commenting on their posts, etc.) or send messages to new prospects through those channels.
There are other business goals that social messaging can help achieve, too.
Perhaps your business has embraced a company-wide mandate to go paper-free. This could be to save money (related to a goal to cut down on office supply expenses) or it could reflect a value of your organization. Or both! You could use this in your messaging to connect to potential customers who also value this.
If you think of the customers you want to attract, you can search out those opportunities online and use social messaging as a way to create a new connection or deepen an existing one. It can be the modern equivalent of cold-calling — liking posts, commenting, or sending targeted messages to prospects through social media and building a relationship over time.
When you’re formulating your social messaging, use the following to inform your choices:
- Look at your social media analytics. Many platforms offer audience insights for businesses. You can use this to understand where your audience is located and other demographics, such as age, gender, the time they are online, etc.
- Track posts and see what ones are gaining the most engagement and hone your social media strategy over time based on the results.
- Connect your social media to your customer relationship management (CRM) database. You can gain useful insights into your customer profiles.
- Track your own customer service team’s response times for messages.
Social messaging is likely to keep growing as a valuable marketing and communication tool for businesses. An effective social media strategy is becoming not just a nice-to-have, but a must-have.
Want to learn more about creating a successful social media strategy for your business and connecting it to your CRM? Check out our free eBook, CRM Systems in the Social Media Age.
SHEA Global can help your business integrate your CRM to social media. Contact us today to find out how. Visit SHEAGlobal.com or call 905-470-6830.