How Fast Should Brands Respond to Social Media?

By Amanda Sternquist, Social Media Leader, HGS

This HGS blog should help you answer these key questions:

  • How do I plan social media strategy?
  • How can social care drive ROI?
  • What is typical response time for social media?

If you think you’re providing superior social care—make sure and ask your customers. Today’s research shows a disconnect—with 80% of businesses believing they provide superior social media customer service, and only 8% of customers describing the service in the same light, according to the Sprout Social 2018 Index. And nearly all businesses (87% according to a survey by Hootsuite) agree that social media is important to staying competitive, with nearly 70% of respondents stating that social media has significant business impact, with solid contribution to their company’s bottom line. According to this research, social care is increasingly how today’s customers ask product questions, seek recommendations, make purchase decisions, and engage with brands to show affinity. Today’s businesses can no longer ignore social media as a CX channel.

Social media has a strong hold on increasing brand value, marketing, recall and retention. To that end, Amanda Sternquist, our Leader of Social Media Operations, answers three pressing questions on social media launch:

Q1: What is a typical first response time for epic service in social?

Amanda: The industry standard is under four hours. We strive for an initial response time in fewer than two hours. We are able to achieve that with the help of artificial intelligence, which funnels the most engageable content to the right people at the right times. For example, if someone is in the moment, they are at a store or they are at a restaurant right now and they need help, we prioritize those keywords to hit our queues first so that we can respond back within seconds or minutes depending on what the need is. 

Q2: How do you determine the volume of social engagement and the number of resources needed?

Amanda A: During the research phase of a new program, we will do a deep analysis of what the content trends have been over the past several months. This gives us a good estimate of not only the volume of mentions coming in, but the type of content that is generated about the brand. If the answer is “everything,” then we will plan for that  volume. Or, if we can narrow that down a little further, it will give us a more realistic idea of how many people it would take to help the brand achieve its social media response goals. One of our best practices in social care is creating a pool of talent that is trained and capable of working between programs. This allows us to offer a steady state coverage model with back up support in the event of a brand crisis.

Q3: What about negative comments? For example, “I hate xyz product.”  What are your recommendations for handling those types of comments?

Amanda A: The goal for us is to try to understand what it is that the customer hates and whether there is an alternative that we can recommend to them. We review who the customer is that we’re communicating with and get to know them, not only their issue, through a vetting process. This allows us to connect with each individual on their level to resolve their issues.  We’ll also determine if this is a situation where we can report back to the company and note that there is certain volume around it that will help the brand make key business decisions. If we identify a trending issue, we are able to quickly prep the client for a PR strategy and a social care response plan. Every mention that comes into our system is either manually or automatically tagged with a conditionally granular level of detail. This enables us to generate real-time insights into a variety of focus areas.