Social Media as a Customer Service Tool

Facebook is a hot mess. Zucks is in hot water. Lawmakers are furious. Users are disillusioned. #DeleteFacebook is a thing.

Snapchat users are peeved at the app’s redesign. Snapchat celebrity influencers are leaving the platform. Snap views are declining. Brands and publishers are questioning whether or not this is a space for them to continue to support a presence.

We’re in a pivotal moment in time where society is questioning the role of social media and the responsibility social media companies have to protect users’ privacy and data.

As a professional in this industry, keeping up with the changing landscape is challenging and thought provoking. Fallout and repercussions from Cambridge Analytica will continue for the weeks and months to come. Users will reassess how and where they engage in online communities. Brands will need to identify/justify why they continue to maintain presences in the social space. (Quick plug to check out Chase Baker’s post this month, Weapons of Mass Communication: Big Data)

I fundamentally believe there is tremendous value for brands to continue to be active in organic social media engagement. I go back to the core principles of why CSU uses social media in the first place. To listen deeply, share meaningfully and build community.

Customer Service

The beauty of social media is that it is a two-way conversation. At its core, social media is a network of online communities for people to share information, ideas and messages – in a variety of formats. With that in mind, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the concept of customer service and how we leverage social media channels to provide customer service to our fans. On a daily basis, we are serving the institution be being the voice of CSU and interacting with our fans in multiple ways.

We converse with them. We provide answers. We joke with them. We fuel their Ram Pride. We provide quality customer service.

When a student uses our hashtag, we’re there to like it and welcome them to the #Ramily.

When a fan tags us with a question on Twitter, we’re there to make sure it doesn’t go unanswered.

When we receive an inquiry through our Facebook message Inbox, we’re the ones tracking down the correct information in an effort to assist that person in the best way that we can.

When a snap from a prospective student comes in, we respond.

We’re on the front lines of building authentic and organic relationships with our customers. By using our hashtags, tagging and messaging us, our audience is inviting CSU to engage with them. This is a great honor and responsibility and one that CSU, as an institution, values.

Instagram – A Bright Spot

In the battle for organic content, Instagram is the champ. For the first time ever, our CSU Instagram account reached more users per post than our CSU Facebook page (data from March 2018). Our Instagram posts consistently outperform Facebook in terms of engagement. In March 2018, our average like for per post was 3,079.  Further, there are many ways to scale Instagram Stories (watch out, Snapchat!), and that will be something #CSUSocial focuses on in the coming months.

Chart of Instagram and Facebook reach

What I’m Reading

While preparing this blog post, I enjoyed reading these posts from the #HESM community:

Remember When Social Media Engagement Was Still Free? It Still Is.

Microcontent: The Fuel that Lights Social Media Fire