In the last few months, consumers have increasingly turned to digital, whether they wanted to or not. E-commerce has boomed because consumers have engaged with brands more often than not on digital platforms. This puts added pressure on social media departments of brands. Automating their daily processes can help.
Research by Statista shows that media consumption has gone up dramatically: in the UK, for instance, people watched more live TV, read more newspapers and spent 40% more time on social media in general, with 33% more time on Facebook. This higher usage of social media is having a huge impact on social media teams. They get more noise to sift through as more consumers comment on products and services, voice concerns, complain and seek advice. Not every company counters this increase in social volume with an increase in staff. On the contrary: to minimise economic damage, people have been furloughed and, in some cases businesses have implemented a hire freeze.
Fortunately, companies using Social Studio from Salesforce have great options of (i) automating social processes and (ii) integrating with other Salesforce products to enhance efficiency across the board. Let’s focus on three big opportunities: categorisation, auto-creation of cases and social listening.
Categorisation gives back time to the social media team
When the social media team is overwhelmed by mentions on social media, it’s hard to decide which post to tackle first. Many teams use manual categorisation, deciding on the fly which team member should get to work on the post or what priority it needs to be given. Manual categorisation is error-prone and takes up valuable time of the team. The team may forget to put a tag on a post and, in large teams, each may have their own definition of what tag to apply to the same post. By automating categorisation, you give back time to the social media team. The right post automatically goes to the right person thanks to predefined filters, for instance language, product, service or even a segment of customers, for instance VIPs, influencers or returning customers. During a recent webinar, Eoin Johnson, Global Head of Marketing Technology at Upfield discussed how important it is for them to filter on language. The company sells its food spreads (Becel, Blue Band, Flora, Stork, etc.) in multi-lingual countries such as Canada, Switzerland or Belgium. By filtering on language, a post can quickly be assigned to the person best equipped to respond. Upfield have set a rule that applies every couple of minutes to all media types: posts, reviews, direct messages, etc. Applying filters proves to be a very efficient process.
What’s more, by categorising incoming social media posts, you can feed all these posts into your analysis. That way, you can spot trends and see the volume coming in relation to the categories you set. Our experience with Social Studio customers shows that categorising can save up to half an hour per team member every day. If KPIs are important to you, categorising is a great way to immediately improve your KPIs.
Automated case creation tears down the walls between customer service and the social media teams
In many cases, a consumer’s social media posts require more than a reaction on the same platform. Customer service will get involved when serious complaints are ventilated. Here too, manual case creation is often a clunky process, with lack of consistency in the cases created and slow response times. Sometimes these cases will miss the context of previous interactions with the same customer, or the same case will be entered into two different systems.
When automating case creation, information from social media is automatically turned into a case in the Service Cloud. A label will be added in Social Studio so that you know the information was shared with the service team. Automating case creation is simple: you define any number of keywords, and as soon as a keyword matches, a case is created. All relevant metadata is forwarded to the customer care team, so they can exactly see what this is about and what they need to do. That way, cases are created in near-real-time, quickly capturing potentially risky issues. Since cases are tagged with the relevant keywords, the customer service team can easily filter for high-priority cases and contact them back. That’s the way Upfield work: by automating this process, the customer care team sees only the cases they need to see, and it eliminates the cases that don’t require action. No need for them to filter, which reduces their effort.
Can each and every case be automated? Unfortunately, no and in some situations, you wouldn’t want to. That’s why Social Studio features one-click case creation, allowing the social media agents to decide quickly and create a case. Again, this saves valuable time.
Social listening is your ear on the marketplace
Customer feedback is easy to capture on your own social media channels, but when consumers want to vent anger or praise, they may use any online platform available. They might vent about your product or service to one another, rather than directly to your social handles. Social listening is a great way of finding out how your brand is doing in the digital world and it gives you the chance to put out fires before the whole forest catches fire (metaphorically speaking).
Social listening helps you:
- Hear misinformation that can yet be corrected
- Interpret the volume and intensity of customer feelings
- Identify negative and positive influencers
Upfield found social listening very effective, and were able to take action immediately: people who wrote very positive on a product, were added to an ‘influencer’ program, advocates of the brand were given free products to get more reviews and people who complained not finding a product in shops were directed to the nearest sales point.
With social listening, automation will also save you time and provide actionable information for the marketing team. Here too, you can apply real-time tagging for categorisation, create cases that require follow-up or even send e-mail notifications to the product team with all details included. Customer feedback can be very relevant for the product team when improving product or service quality.
Automating social listening improves the efficiency of social media, customer service and marketing teams and delivers relevant product information. Will the use of digital channels decrease as we head into the ‘next’ normal? Knowing that an entire category of customers (seniors over 60 or 70) have finally discovered digital, we can doubt that the level of digital interaction will ever go back to the ‘old’ normal. This will force marketing departments to decide whether to expand their social media teams or take a long, hard look at the processes and automate rigorously. Which direction will you take?