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Social Media Customer Service

Social Media Customer Service

Katherine Watier Ong

July 27, 2023
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  1. Social Media
    Customer Service:
    Developing a process and plan.
    June 2023

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  2. What you’re going to learn today
    ● How to create a strategic
    plan for your customer
    service launch and all of the
    elements that you need to
    address and plan for to be
    successful.
    ● Are you ready?

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  3. Katherine
    Watier Ong
    WO Strategies LLC
    • VP of Online Strategy and Market
    Insights at Ketchum Inc
    • 17 years of communications
    experience
    • 10 years of online marketing
    experience (SEO, SEM, social media,
    web analytics)
    • Built my first website in 1994
    • Developed the strategy and led the
    social media customer service team
    for NY State of Health
    (nystateofhealth.ny.gov) during its
    launch.

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  4. Agenda
    You will learn:
    • Key elements to creating a social media customer service protocol
    document.
    • Options for technology that you’ll need for social media listening and
    management
    • How to build, train, and manage your social media customer service
    team.

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  5. Creating a Customer
    Service Protocol and
    Process Document

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  6. Why Have a Protocol?
    • Responses to followers need to be
    prompt
    • Need to have one company voice even
    if many individuals are responding on
    one handle
    • Clearly outlines employee
    expectations & senior support
    • Identifies your main Points of Contact
    • Outlines how to handle each type of
    post and when to escalate
    • Removes the guesswork for your
    customer service staff.
    source: https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-for-customer-service-guide

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  7. Agenda
    • Goals for social media
    • Comment policy (internal and external)
    • Definition & parameters around proactive & reactive outreach
    • Monitoring hours of operation
    • Content and tone for posts
    • Boilerplate responses
    • Engagement guidelines & escalation procedure
    • Process for monitoring & engaging off handles
    • Process for integration with paid online efforts.
    • POC for all those involved in the effort and escalation expectations

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  8. Articulate your Goals
    Think through why you are launching social media customer service &
    how it will be tied back to the business.
    This provides focus for your overall work.

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  9. Example goals:
    • Educate and inform customers about our topic in a particular
    geography
    • Drive customers to website to sign up
    • Manage our online brand perception
    • Monitor and participate in online conversations in the larger
    category
    • Encourage sharing of website messaging among key target
    audiences.

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  10. Internal Comment Policy
    Here’s an example:
    ● We encourage commenting on all sites. The ideas and concerns of customers
    are important to support the continuous improvement of our communications
    and overall visibility in search engines and in social media.
    ● However, our online properties will be managed to support constructive
    dialogue.
    This means:
    • When possible, inappropriate comments will be reviewed before posting.
    • For social media platforms without a comment approval feature, inappropriate
    comments may be removed.

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  11. External
    Comment
    Policy

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  12. External Comment Policy
    Comments Subject to Rejection or Removal
    • Copyright violations: The unauthorized use of copyright materials.
    • Hateful, violent, or stigmatizing content: Content that promotes hate,
    involves direct threats, or encourages shame against individuals or
    groups based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age
    or sexual orientation/gender identity.
    Publicly post your hours of active monitoring and away messages.

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  13. External Comment Policy
    Comments Subject to Rejection or Removal
    • Impersonation: Use of another individual or [company]’s identity in a
    manner that is intended to mislead or confuse others.
    • Media inquiries: Requests for official responses. These inquiries will
    be directed to the appropriate contact person for response.
    • Off-topic remarks: Questions or comments that are clearly off topic
    based on – initiated dialogue.
    Publicly post your hours of active monitoring and away messages.

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  14. External Comment Policy
    Comments Subject to Rejection or Removal
    ● Private, confidential, or personally identifiable information: The
    unauthorized posting of private and confidential information, such as
    credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, driver license numbers,
    and any information that can identify an individual.
    ● Political statements: Content intended to influence a decision to be
    made for or by [company], in short lobbying.

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  15. External Comment Policy
    Comments Subject to Rejection or Removal
    ● Pornography or obscenity: Content that contains nudity, sexually
    graphic material, or material that is otherwise deemed explicit in
    nature.
    ● Spam/malicious code: Unsolicited commercial messages and
    malicious software.
    ● Unsupported accusations: Content that accuses and/or its affiliates,
    including providers, of wrongdoing.
    ● Any other content that could put [company] at risk.

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  16. Code Red Content
    Code Red content will be filtered or removed from all hosted web spaces and will not
    warrant responses on external sites. This content includes:
    • Copyright violations
    • Critical information
    • Hateful, violent, or stigmatizing content
    • Impersonation
    • Private, confidential, or personally identifiable information
    • Political statements
    • Pornography or obscenity
    • Spam/malicious code

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  17. Code Orange Content
    Code Orange content will be posted unless otherwise specified by the comment policy and
    warrants a response from the social media team.
    This content includes:
    • General Requests: Questions that are not specific to an individual and can be
    addressed through standard contract language without a significant effort from the
    social media team.
    • Misinformation: Content that is clearly inaccurate based on [company’s] policies and
    other authoritative sources.
    • Emotional Statements: Comments/posts with a tone or language that suggests intense
    emotional response to the topic that has interfered with an individual understanding of
    the topic. These comments should be filtered and responded to directly if possible.

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  18. Code Yellow Content
    Code Yellow content may be filtered on sites based on the Comment Policy but does not
    warrant removal from external web spaces.
    The social media team should respond based on the guidelines set forth in the Engagement
    Process.
    • Individual requests
    • Media inquiries
    • Off topic

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  19. Code Green Content
    Code Green content involves neutral or benign statements that are generally accurate and
    do not indicate the desire for a response.
    These comments should be posted as applicable in the Comment Policy and responses are
    welcome based on availability.

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  20. Engagement
    Guidelines by Content
    Classification

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  21. Engagement Guidelines by Content Classification
    Category Websites Hosted Independent Response Time Review Process
    *Action requires subject matter expert or leadership approval
    Code Red
    Inappropriate content
    Reject content. Report
    accusations and threats
    to the appropriate
    authorities.
    Reject/remove content.
    Report accusations and
    threats to the appropriate
    authorities.
    Do not respond. Report
    accusations and threats to
    the appropriate
    authorities.
    Reject/remove
    content immediately.
    Code Orange
    General questions,
    misinformation, or
    emotional statements
    Craft response from
    standard language.
    Submit for approval
    before accepting
    comment and/or
    posting response.*
    Craft response from
    standard language.
    Submit for
    approval before posting.*
    Craft response from
    standard language.
    Submit for approval
    before posting.*
    Post response within
    1-3 hours max.
    Code Yellow
    Individual requests,
    media
    inquiries, and
    off-topic remarks
    Reject content.
    Send standard
    response directly to
    user.
    Post standard
    response.
    Draft and post
    response from standard
    language.
    Post response
    within the same
    hour.
    Code Green
    Neutral/ benign
    comments
    Accept content and
    express gratitude as
    appropriate
    Express gratitude and
    forward as appropriate
    to build rapport within
    the community
    Express gratitude as
    appropriate if
    comments were
    addressed to social
    media team members
    Post response
    within 2-4 hours

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  22. Proactive Outreach
    Proactive outreach is initiated to deliver information to key target
    audiences. This will be driven by an editorial calendar which will be
    approved by X.
    In general, proactive social media outreach activities will fall under one of
    the following categories:
    ● Sharing information related to our industry as a whole
    ● Promoting various resources and new services
    ● Sharing tips and helpful information to benefit target audiences
    ● Supporting outreach initiatives
    ● Forming relationships with reporters for media opportunities

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  23. Reactive Outreach
    ● Reactive outreach is initiated in response to a comment or question
    from a social media user. Responsive activities provide facts and data
    to deliver information and address misinformation or unfavorable
    opinions.
    ● Following premium customer service protocol, it’s important to
    address a comment or question within a 4 hour timeframe. This is
    helpful for relationship-building and also creates a seamless, enjoyable
    process for the end user.

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  24. Monitoring Hours of Operation
    Here’s an example:
    • We recognize that the web is a 24/7 medium and comments are
    welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage resources,
    moderating and posting of comments will generally occur during
    regular business hours (8am - 5pm ET) Monday – Friday.
    • Comments submitted after hours will be read and posted as early as
    possible the following business day.
    • Each social media post requiring a response will be responded to
    within 4 hours, even if it is just to let the person know that their
    question is being looked into.

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  25. Content and Tone for Posts
    Items you might want to include:
    • Reading level of all posts
    • Length and tone (casual and friendly, or more formal)?
    • Does each post need to reference the website?

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  26. Boilerplate Responses
    Examples 1:
    We hear your concerns and are committed to helping you find the
    information you need: [your website address]

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  27. Boilerplate Responses
    Examples 2:
    Stay informed by subscribing to our newsletter for important updates
    delivered straight to your inbox: [link]

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  28. Boilerplate Responses
    Examples 3:
    Thank you for the opportunity to assist you. The answer to your
    question is available here on X website: [url to specific FAQ here]

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  29. Boilerplate Responses
    Examples 4:
    Thank you for your question. A representative will contact you soon.
    For Twitter: Thanks for letting us know. Please DM your contact
    info so we can better assist you.

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  30. Monitoring off your handles

    Smart businesses
    listen
    to what’s being said

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  31. Social Media Listening
    Why?
    Some real life uses:
    • Spotting rumors before reporters do so that you can release official
    press releases and statements online to resolve those rumors before
    they become ORM issues.
    • Used larger social media observations to craft editorial content to
    address common feedback feedback, common misperceptions, and
    frequently asked questions.

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  32. Process for Pausing Paid Social Advertising
    Case Study:
    McDonalds promoted 2 hashtags during a promoted trend –
    #meetthefarmers and #mcdstories.
    #mcdstories did not go as planned. McD’s quickly pulled
    #mcdstories and it was promoted for less than two hours.
    Within an hour of pulling #McDStories the number of
    conversations about it fell off from a peak of 1600 to a few
    dozen.
    With all social media campaigns, we include
    contingency plans should the conversation not
    go as planned. The ability to change midstream
    helped this small blip from becoming something
    larger.
    McDonald's social media director Rick Wion

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  33. Outline all Points of Contact (POCs)
    Be sure to include in your protocol document:
    • All key decision makers with email and cell phones
    • Make it clear to all listed in the document the hours they are expected
    to be available
    • Have everyone listed in the document review and sign
    • Stress the number of hours you can take prior to turning around a
    response

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  34. Outline all Points of Contact (POCs)
    Types of people to include:
    • Your phone customer service team (if applicable)
    • PR lead/agency contact
    • website manager/agency contact
    • Lead for paid search/social
    • Lead for organic social media management
    • Product support contact

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  35. Social Media Listening
    Tool selection
    • Make sure you have a tool that allows for quick
    integration into your social media management
    platform/process (vs. just creating reports).
    • Brandwatch + Hootsuite (or Spredfast) is what we’ve
    recommended to clients, but there are other tools that
    allow for that type of speed as well.

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  36. Social Media Listening
    Key tips:
    • Monitor for your brand and larger keywords
    • Develop a process for how & what should be flagged
    (positive and negative) for further engagement by
    the brand handle/customer service reps.
    • Outline exactly what type of scenarios warrant
    proactive outreach.

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  37. Your Customer Service
    Team

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  38. Hiring a Strong Team Sample of skills needed:
    • Specific platform experience
    (Facebook, Twitter, Google+/YouTube,
    etc)
    • Use of analytics tools (Hootsuite,
    Google Analytics, Radian6, Sysomos,
    Brandwatch, etc)
    • College grad with at least 3-5 years of
    experience
    • Previous experience creating social
    media editorial calendars
    • Can think on their feet with multiple
    deadlines
    • Can collaborate with colleagues at all
    levels of the organization
    • Thrives in a fast paced environment
    • Exceptional writer and editor, able to
    communicate concisely

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  39. Train your team & keeping them up to date
    • Need to understand each
    platform - use help files, and
    Google+ communities.
    • Hootsuite certification (if using)
    • Inbound Marketing Certification
    (free)
    • MarketingLand
    • Social Media Examiner

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  40. Monitor your staff
    The situation: President Obama mentioned his
    grandmother during the first presidential debate and
    KitchenAid send this tweet to its 24K followers:
    "Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! She
    died 3 days b4 he became president. #nbcpolitics"
    It turns out a member of the KitchenAid team had
    mistakenly posted it from the company account
    instead of from a personal handle.

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  41. Internal Customer Service Rep Diaries
    • Have a source (Google docs,
    etc) where reps can leave each
    other notes
    • Log all new information from
    the end of each shift for the
    next person monitoring
    • Share relevant information
    back to webmaster/product
    team.
    • Even better - create a
    searchable database of
    answers that customers can
    use (Desk.com or Get
    Satisfaction)

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  42. Avoiding Burnout
    • High volume monitoring and
    responding can be emotionally
    draining
    • Shifts need to be short -things
    can be missed with too much
    screen staring
    • Emotionally customer service
    staff need breaks to recharge
    • Encourage cross sharing of
    knowledge, stories, and
    successful tactics within the
    team.
    • Highlight successes

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  43. MOVE THE NEEDLE

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  44. Get Started Today
    • Set up social media monitoring - brand and your category keywords
    • Start to draft your own social media protocol document
    • Hire, train and set expectations with your staff
    • Select the tools for social media listening and management

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  45. Key Takeaways
    ● Your customers are on social and you need to be there to respond
    ● A process and plan insures that your team is coordinated
    ● Be clear about your customer service hours and time period to
    respond.
    ● Be flexible with your process based on daily diaries. Your protocol is a
    living document.
    ● Keep an eye on your staff for stress - too much screen time can lead to
    mistakes.

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  46. KATHERINE
    WATIER ONG
    202-930-1744
    [email protected]
    www.linkedin.com/in/katherinewatier
    www.WOStrategies.com
    Daily SEO tips via Alexa

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