Social media is, undeniably, an incredibly influential and accessible tool for forging relationships with your target audience. It offers an immediate space for brands and customers to interact with one another.
However, social media offers so much more than a stage for brand identification and customer engagement. It is a potent place for businesses to cultivate powerful insights into their customers’ sentiments, i.e., t e overall impression that you transmit.
This refers to the ability to process social analytics and data to produce insights into the all-round impact a brand makes on its target audience. Through customer sentiment analysis, brands can gauge the positive and negative reactions to new products or service releases, and over time, may produce an aggregated report into trends and customer concerns.
Customer sentiment value is collected through text analysis. This is a system that gathers statistical and linguistic interpretations through natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning techniques to generate a score of public response to the content a brand puts out. The results allow data analysts to produce an understanding of public opinion, to collect necessary market research, and enable brand monitoring and product reputation. The data provides an all-encompassing perception of customer experience.
Social is unavoidably reserved for real time customer engagement and interactions – it offers a platform to ask questions and share both positive and negative experiences. Such feedback is crucial for the brand to grow and adapt their customer service approach.
Before implementing a social campaign, determine an avatar – an impression of the ideal audience figure. By doing so, it’s possible to create a social plan that will serve to enrich the audience experience – from the choice of social platform to the variety of content you choose to share. For example, if you target female Millennials, Instagram will feature heavily in your brand’s social plan. Alternatively, you may direct your energies towards an entrepreneurial and business-focused audience, in which case, LinkedIn would become the platform of choice. Choosing the right social platform and forming an online community will assist in building a system of social listening, concept development, and gap analysis – all of which contribute to the measurement of customer sentiment.
Customers have refreshed expectations of customer service in this digitally-driven world. While in decades passed reputation was built through word-of-mouth and published reviews, customers can now deliver feedback in an instant. As such, brands must employ response staff such as social media managers, brand executives, or even a chatbots who will communicate with customers reaching out.
Social media moves fast, so its crucial brands keep their finger on the button. Implementing a response plan will ensure consistency when handling customer sentiments of all forms. This will include an escalation process, a set of dedicated guidelines, and a list of compensations or complementary products that can be offered as an apology.
Don’t ignore customers, and always respond to them via the same form in which they connect – such as through messenger, on your account page, or as a comment. Furthermore, if their feedback refers to a certain team or member of staff, it’s good etiquette to request they share their contact details through private means so it’s possible to respond accordingly. And, in every instance, respond in a way that is positive and reflective of the brand’s tone and identity. Show your customers that you are listening and that you truly care. Actions speak louder than words.
Customer sentiment can take a variety of forms, but every situation should be considered a learning curve. Constructing and refining a holistic response procedure will set a brand on good stead when new feedback is received, in addition to preparing you for unanticipated criticism.
While customer service remains a historic methodology, the forms in which it takes in 2020 onwards are immense – so using social to understand customer sentiment is fundamental to ensure the provision of the highest quality and to forge deep relationships with your customers who in turn will help you improve your products and services with their direct feedback.