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Why is social media important to customer service?

Apr 27

The other day I was playing in Facebook, looking around at some pages and found a great example of why you need to be in social media.  Somebody who couldn’t be helped by this company has posted a borderline rude, definitely curt comment on their wall.  Within an hour a representative had responded to their post and within a couple more hours had corrected their false information.  The company’s Facebook representative then asked them to email for a more thorough conversation.

In my own geeky PR and social media way I was giving that Facebook page a high five because they did everything correct.    If you’re the company in social media or the person addressing a company about an issue these tips will help you get what you want.

Be respectful

You attract more flies with sugar than vinegar don’t you?  If the original poster hadn’t been snide or rude they might have yielded some sympathy on their wall.  However, as they were writing with emotion and not thinking it through their point came across in a very poor manner.

Acknowledged the persons feelings

I know it sounds all touchy feely, but you should break out the incense and hippie juice in this case.  Because of the way that the representative responded to the person it took away any legitimacy that the poster might have had.  It was very clinical and cold in a way, but it was also a great example of good PR in a social media setting.  Is karate about force of deflection of force?  Good customer service can operate using the same principals.

PR can be cold and uncaring, no doubt about that.  But in this case the company didn’t admit to any mistakes, apologized for any inconvenience and offered alternative solutions to the person-all on their Facebook wall.

I’m certain there was an email correspondence between the two, but that was most likely an extension of what started on the Facebook wall.

Allow comments

As hard as it may be to believe, some companies with a Facebook page do not allow comments on their wall.  Granted the page should be monitored for spam or inappropriate comments, but legitimate questions and comments are why you are involved with social media.

Somebody is talking about you

Maybe it’s not specifically about you; it could be about your industry or even your regional area.  They are talking about something related to you and that is why you need to hop into the social media pool.    Sometimes all you (as the company) needs to do is get in the way of someone’s conversation in order to be an influential force.  In this case, the company with a Facebook page wasn’t in an especially social industry.  As a matter of fact, they are in an industry that most of the public hates dealing with.  Granted, that could be the reason why the negative comment was left in the first place; but remember that you get more flies with sugar.


Trey is a Content Editor at Katie Wagner Social Media. He has years of experience in radio, television, print and online storytelling, and is the creator of the award-winning parenting blog, Daddy Mojo.

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