We're no longer in the 'golden age' of social media, when use of the medium was mostly just for entertainment. Twitter reported its first quarterly profit last week, Instagram is finally testing a feature that'll allow users to share other people's posts, and everyone and their grandmother is on Facebook. We've gotten to the point where there are not only dedicated social media departments at most companies, but employees devoted to social media customer service, as well.
Granted, at many companies, social media customer service is just part of the social media manager's job title, along with scheduling and eCommerce; however, for agents who are active online (as all should be), you may not have the resources to hire someone to handle your social accounts.
There are some fantastic scheduling and automated posting services out there, such as RISMedia's ACE, when combined with the practice of messaging clients and responding to feedback, can increase your engagement and ultimately your business significantly.
Here are some social media customer service best practices you can follow to take your social game to the next level:
Know Where Your Audience Is
This goes far beyond knowing which social platforms you have the most followers on. More importantly is knowing where you're getting the most engagement. You'll usually get a notification when one of your posts gets a comment, but you should also get used to finding tweets and posts that you're mentioned in. Remember that not everyone will properly tag you.
According to the Institute of Customer Service, one in every three customers turns to social media to seek advice or communicate with a business. Aside from direct messaging, responding to a post that you're mentioned in one way to turn a potential client that's curious about your business into an actual client.
Respond to All Feedback
It's easy to get in the habit of just responding to negative comments on social media. You'll likely have a lot more motivation to jump on those comments and defend yourself and your business; however, responding to positive comments or general inquiries can be just as important. As a real estate professional, you need to show that you're actively engaging with your community, not only in the area that you live, but online, as well.
Most people won't expect a reply from the administrator of a page and it's often a welcome response when they do. Spend 20 minutes a day just going through your social feeds and responding to comments—even if it's just a "Thanks for the comment!" to stay engaged with your clients.
Be Picky With the Platforms You Use
It's 2018… there are a plethora of social apps and sites to choose from. But which should you invest your time and energy in? According to a Sprout Social study, the real estate industry tops the list of industries tracked when it comes to the average number of message responses needed on social media. A whopping 46 percent of real estate-related messages you'll receive across social will require a response.
All those responses take time. Is it worth it to be updating your Pinterest or Snapchat if you haven't taken care of messages on Facebook yet? Probably not. If you don't have anyone else assisting you with your social channels, step back and evaluate how much time you have each day to spend on social media and how many platforms you can realistically manage in that time.
Find Your Voice
We all know those folks that are open and friendly in person, but if you text or email them, they become curt or borderline rude. The same can happen with comments and messages on social media. Luckily, this is something that can be taught. So much has to do with gauging the tone of the person that you're responding to on social media. A safe bet in real estate is a professional, yet welcoming, tone. If a client messages you and is writing in a more lighthearted way, feel free to mirror that, but keep in mind that emojis are usually off-limits.
If you follow these best practices, you'll be able to heighten your customer service skills on social media and keep your clients engaged and content knowing that their agent is thinking of them. And for those that aren't your clients yet, you'll increase your chances of converting them.