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Tips for Implementing a Responsive Social Process

What’s the buzz about social responsiveness?

Pet Age recently reported that retailers are ignoring customers’ social media requests. In fact, retailers failed to respond to more than 80 percent of consumer questions and requests on social media in the last year, most notably during the holiday season. That includes pet retailers, too.

So, why does this matter?

In one sentence, it matters because pet retailers are missing a huge opportunity to engage with their largest group of consumers in a positive way. To recap what we discussed in our recent blog post, Maximize Your Millennial Marketing: Pet Edition:

  1. Millennials are becoming the largest group of consumers in the pet industry.
  2. They spend more on pet products and services than any other generation.
  3. They’re all over social media. No news there.

Pet-owning millennials use social media platforms as resources for information. They want choice, convenience, communication and transparency. They want to ask questions and get near immediate responses, and they want to do so on their own turf. Not playing their game? They’ll take their questions (and money) elsewhere. Replying to questions on social seems obvious. Yet, during the holidays—prime time for customers to be relatively far down the purchasing funnel—retailers dropped the ball last year by ignoring the majority of inquiries received on social and took an average of 12 hours to respond, if they did respond at all.

As a retailer, what can you do?

The holiday shopping season is quickly approaching, and your company doesn’t want to fall into the category of unresponsive retailers. As experts in social media, millennials and the pet industry, we’ve put together three tips for implementing a responsive social process to help you prepare. Although this post is specific to pet retailers, the following tips can be applied to retailers across all industries:

1. Prepare a FAQ list

Your team has probably noticed that there are certain questions that have been asked more than a few times in the past. Create a list of these common questions, your answers and where to direct a customer if you can’t provide the answer firsthand. It also helps to write out general guidelines on the dos and don’ts of responding on social and aligning these guidelines with your brand voice. This tip will certainly help your team respond quickly and appropriately.

2. Use a social media monitoring tool

Social media monitoring, or social listening, put simply is tracking online conversations. In this case, it means identifying customers’ social media requests in an organized, effective way to be able to address them in a timely manner. There are countless monitoring tools available with varying features, which makes selecting the one that’s right for your business a bit difficult. Check out Keyhole’s top 25 social media monitoring tools to get an idea of the biggest players in the game and their unique offerings.

3. Hire a dedicated team

Whether it’s appointing a team internally or hiring an agency, ensuring there are individuals dedicated to monitoring all social platforms and replying to requests is perhaps the most important component of implementing a responsive social media process. A good agency is a strategic partner. They will continuously monitor multiple social channels and be on hand to reply when a customer’s question or comment arises. They will provide consistent messaging for the brand across all platforms—not just social—and integrate social media into the larger campaign. Social should never exist in a silo. In addition to consistent messaging and monitoring, an agency partner should provide reporting on all social platforms and make ongoing recommendations on how to optimize the social campaign. For example, adapting the paid strategy to better reach the target audience. They should be transparent about what they’re measuring, what it means and why it matters.

With all the above working together, your business should see results within six months. If you’re not seeing results, either the campaign is already optimized or you may need to look for a new agency.

Social media doesn’t just happen. It’s a process. The bottom line for your brand is putting a process in place to meet—and hopefully exceed—the expectations of your social followers. To discuss how we can help implement a responsive social process for your brand, please contact Angi Wesson at 336-819-6911 or awesson@trone.com.  

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