Social Media or New media has effected how companies treats their consumers. Today, most of marketers started using digital media as part of their media plan for the campaigns. Customers receive information more easily though online media while traditional media is still important means of communication to consumers.
Consumers’ overall media consumption has continued to increase over the past few years (Nielsen 2011). Based on the data, most of companies focus on relation building by providing good content to attracting new or maintaining the existing customers.
Atlas Copco as a leader in its industry segment understands the importance of social media with followers count of over 41,000 on Facebook and over 250,000 on Linkedin.
Social Media as Customer Service
A social Media platform is perfect opportunity to capture need for both sides. Two way communications has helps companies and consumers to build engagement. Companies use social media because it’s potential platform for business development or customer retention.
Targeted. When marketers included social media as strategy, this activity has contributed many brands to get visibility more than they expected. Companies are using users data based on their personal data profile or get their activities information from the social media profile timeline to provide the suitable information related to their interest. If the user loves traveling and use feature “check in” in some places in Facebook or Instagram, they will get some information that would attract them, such as cheap airlines advertisement or special offer for hotels. So brands will be appeared based on their target market. Beside of that objective, companies’ tease consumers to follow their social media account. Users or fans will only join or follow their preferred brand social media account- this condition creates conversation between consumer and brands.
A Purchaser in company can follow B2B social media account to find testimonial as finding comparison to decide the best products or services for company.
Real Time. These days, if a consumer is interested to know the product offers or product specification, he can start by searching some information on online as references. In fact, the feature “Chat” on websites or social media platform allows visitors to get access directly to customer service in order to get real time question and answers.
Customers always expect immediate response; the admin will receive a notification, and can take action to answers the questions or even to solve the problems.
Berrybenka.com is a fashion online shopping that has been equipped with chat feature. The feature allows consumers for having consultation with the admin to get more information regarding of discount offers or find the correct size. It is found that in B2B buying process, it help them a generate sales faster and efficient.
Transparent. When customers make a post or mentioning your brands with negative tone, it appears in public. Everybody is able to access bad reviews or complaints. The situation gives customer ‘in control’ feeling. What do consumers really expect? Of course, when they post on social media timeline, they expect the admin to respond immediately. If the Admin answer a customer’s concerns quickly, nicely, and effectively, it will have good impact to other followers and leave good image and trust.
Live example of such reviews and complaint handling is available on Atlas Copco link on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/pg/atlascopco/reviews/?ref=page_internal
More Mention. Marketers have an ability to create mentions for their brand, more interactions on social media means they are making more visibility to all their contacts. It is a potential opportunity to help them in SEO rankings. No matter how the tone for the comments.
Currently many tools are available to helps marketers to monitor their brand in digital media especially in social media account. The feature is able to find “words” that are related to their brand. Every time the brand mentioned in social media activities, they can track whether they have positive conversation, neutral or even negative. This feature is good for marketers to enhance capability to make a respond quickly.
These tools are also able to monitor competitor activities, so marketers can improve their strategy plan while their competitor is running their campaign.
Easy to Connect. Social media makes marketers and consumers an easy way to connect. Mobile technology supports even further to connect with ease. Most social media platforms are now available on mobile phone app. Users can immediately having conversation and get inrformation without any delay; no need to make a call or send an email. “Apps assist prospect customer in more informed decision making process and will become larger part of B2B marketing tool book” (2017 B2B digital trend 2017: B2B Digital Marketing Grows up, http://www.visualistan.com/2017/02/2017-b2b-digital-trends-infographic.html)
Consumer as Customers Service. Interaction between an Admin and Customers is seen by other followers, sometime other followers also can help them to solve the problem based on their experiences. When other users make comments, those comments become more credible in follower’s view. Forum is a perfect platform for discussing, most popular place to ask and answer questions about brands and products. For example, in online communities of information technology firms such as Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft experienced customers support peer customers who face product-related problems (“consumer support forums”;e.g.,Mathwick, Wiertz, and De Ruyter 2008), (“The Impact of New Media on Customer Relationship”;e.g. Hennig-Thurau et al 2010).
New media has changed companies and consumers buying behaviour. Both marketers and consumers found plenty of evidence demonstrating the power of new media. B2B and B2C consumer buying process is more effective without spend time to visit store or waiting quotation. Through personal conversation, brands create high demands to proceed to next level of image, trust and sales.
- Hennig – Thurau el. (Journal of Service Research 2010). The Impact of New Media on Customer Relationships.
- Jomer Gregorio. (2015). 12 Reasons Why Digital Marketing Can Help You Grow Your Business (Infographic). Retrieved November 30th 2017, from http://digitalmarketingphilippines.com/12-reasons-why-digital-marketing-can-help-you-grow-your-business/
- What do consumers really expect from social brands? (24 July 2015). Retrieved November 30th 2017, from http://www.shorthose-russell.co.uk/blog/what-do-consumers-really-expect-from-social-brands
- Jennifer Post (2017). How to Use Social Media for Customer Service. Retrieved November 30th 2017, from https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/5917-social-media-customer-service.html
- 2017 B2B Digital Trends (2017). Retrieved November 30th 2017, from http://www.visualistan.com/2017/02/2017-b2b-digital-trends-infographic.html
- Larry Myler. (2017). B2B Strategies Can Help B2C Companies Expand Sales. Retrieved November 30th 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/larrymyler/2017/10/16/b2b-strategies-can-help-b2c-companies-expand-sales/#558ce1c119ba