Social care is a key aspect in our day to day tasks at Lumico. Not only is it important for a brand to establish itself with the audience, but it is also very important that an audience feels as if they are heard.
I love social care. It’s one of the most rewarding tasks that I look forward to every day, but it took a lot of learning before the love for social care came flooding in. When I started at Lumico one of my first clients was a big South African municipality. I quickly learned that a municipality’s social platform is the first place that the community visits when something is wrong. Daniel encouraged me to respond in a more light-hearted manner when people commented on some of the content. I took this “light-hearted” way too seriously, and responded to a comment about a spelling mistake with a GIF that said, “I’m sorry I failed you.” It backfired and the community was very upset over the joke I had made. And that was the first lesson I learned when it comes to social care. You have to understand the brand’s voice and its audience in order to correctly handle social care. What works for one brand doesn’t necessarily work for another. When it comes to a more serious brand it is critical to answer in a more sincere tone of voice, recognize the mistake that you have made in a more serious manner and fix the error immediately. The audience of a solemn brand doesn’t visit your social platform to get their daily dosage of jokes; they want answers and information, and you should keep it that way.
But in the world of dog food it is quite a different story altogether. I handle the social care for a premium dog food company that has a more easy-going, playful tone. It means responding with a lot of funny GIFS, puns and playful words such as “Woof-Di-Doo” and “Paw-some”. What I’ve learned while doing the social care for this brand is that your audience just wants to be acknowledged. We started a community on this brand’s social platforms and, in the process, we learned the importance of interacting with our community. If left unanswered, the audience stops visiting your page for that community-based content. When people share their stories or photos of their dogs, I’ve learned the importance of thanking them for sharing their stories and letting them know how much we appreciate the effort that they’ve taken to share it with us. Not only does it grow the relationship between the brand and the consumer, but listening to people and sharing in their happiness means that they will back the brand without much thought. Good reviews come in, and when there is negative feedback your community will back your brand. They will continue to interact with your page long after you’ve said that their dog is adorable.
As a digital media agency you won’t have all the answers to the product related enquiries received on your client’s social platforms, but I have learned the importance of sourcing the correct answer to any enquiry as soon as possible. As soon as I’ve received a product related question I’ll thank the person who has asked it and assure them that I will revert with the correct answer as soon as possible.The interaction reassures the person that they have been heard, and you acknowledge that they have questions about your brand. By only responding to the positive feedback that you receive gives the audience the impression that you are hiding something, when really you just don’t have the answers to their questions at that moment. After getting the right response, no matter when you receive it, just reply to the person who has posted the question, thank them for waiting and give the correct answer in the sincerest way possible. When you actually do what you say you’re going to do, it goes a long way to proving yourself to the client.
The most important thing that I’ve learned with social care is that talking to our audience in a personal manner, and not in a robot-like fashion, is key. Greeting them by name goes a long way in establishing that connection, as does wishing them a good day and answering their question as if the brand is a person and not an impersonal entity.
Why is social care such a rewarding task to me? It’s the daily gratitude that I receive from an audience when I answer their questions, respond to their comments or simply just thank them when they share something with me or the brand, which will go a long way, long after my social care is done.