We live in a always-on world. Where our contact with brands was once restricted to point-of-sale, call centres and consumer research, now we can speak to them directly on social media. But is just being on the right social channels enough?
Brands that want to maintain a lasting relationship with their consumers need to look at their engagement strategy.
People are always connected
As technology has progressed, so have our habits and expectations. Even our jobs are changing. If I can’t get online at 8am, I can’t do my job. If my broadband provider isn’t available until 9 or 10am, that’s time that I can’t get back.
The younger generations value their connectivity even more.
IBM’s study ‘Uniquely Generation Z: What brands should know about today’s youngest consumers’, reported that 74% of respondents spent their free time online, 75% preferred mobile over any other device, and 60% wouldn’t use an app or website that was slow to load.
We’re becoming less willing to wait. People want to talk to the brand where and when it suits them, and they will – whether they’ll get a response is entirely up to the brand.
Creating customer engagement opportunities
The world doesn’t stop turning when the office lights go out. There’s not only the potential for crises to erupt out-of-hours, but there’s a huge opportunity for engagement around culture events or trending news.
Take the recent Sunday afternoon announcement that Doctor number 13 would be a woman. Social media, naturally, went a bit bonkers at the news. The geeks were out in force – guilty! – as were multiple brands.
Not only is the Doctor a woman, she’s going to be played by Jodie goddamn Whittaker. WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE! #doctor13 pic.twitter.com/OgX37FpRFB
— SciFiNow (@SciFiNow) July 16, 2017
Of course, ‘Doctor Who’ is a national institution in the UK, so there were a lot of excited social media managers out there. In the case of SciFi Now though, it didn’t just tweet out the announcement, but actively got involved in discussions with fans and followers. People are always looking for the human touch behind the social media account, and this was a brilliant opportunity to make a lasting impression.
T-Mobile in the US offer a great example of being ready to engage customers no matter the time of day. Their team provides quick responses to customers around the clock.
Addressing customer problems makes up the bulk of their interactions but T-mobile also see the value in taking the time to personally engage the customers who leave positive feedback as well.
More opportunities to shape brand perception
The more time you dedicate to social media and customer engagement, the more people your brand can potentially reach. Not all of us can check social channels during the day.
Brands that invest in experienced social media managers for out-of-hours customer engagement ensure that fans and followers have a greater chance of being heard.
These are the brands that can spot a developing issue before it becomes a crisis. These are the brands that people become genuinely passionate about, and start to advocate for themselves.
By taking more time to engage and inspire, these brands help to create a community of fans that will go on to talk about the brand across the internet and to their friends and family offline.
People don’t work to set hours when they use social media. Why should you?