Amber Naslund recently touched on a big disconnect in social media: the gap between the employees who oversee a company’s web channels and the employees who actually have the power to improve a customer’s experience.

Her points lead to a valid question: are you using social media to evaluate your customers, or to engage them?

Evaluating means you’re doing things like…

  • Monitoring what’s being said about your brand
  • Reporting those brand perceptions to your company’s decision-makers
  • Predicting the likely impact (good or bad) of those perceptions
  • Measuring those perceptions over time, against evolving feedback
  • Changing your messaging strategies accordingly

Engaging means you’re also doing things like:

  • Contacting happy customers to thank them for their business
  • Contacting unhappy customers to help solve their problems
  • Rewarding your best customers with perks and benefits
  • Soliciting feedback and suggestions from your customers (or detractors)
  • Implementing those suggestions to improve customers’ experiences

The problem is, the employees who are often best-trained or best-equipped to monitor your brand online are not always similarly trained (or even allowed) to contact a customer directly, much less to implement incoming feedback in a meaningful way.

Of course, not every company wants their public-facing employees to be able to make changes to company policy on the fly.  The key is to find the right balance between your information-gathering structure and your ability to respond directly to a customer’s needs without creating more complications in the process.

Because there’s technically no wrong way to use social media tools, but there are ways to use them more efficiently.  And if your end goals involve improving your customers’ overall experience, you need to ensure that your monitoring tools and your critical thinkers are working together to make positive changes in real time.

Wondering how you might do that? Contact us; making your messaging more effective is our specialty.

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