Picking up the phone and calling a company? Not today. If customers need help, they’re going on social media. Complaints about product defects, questions about use cases, and persistent feedback will be published for the world to see.
That’s why your social media strategists should be not only content creators but also crisis communication experts, too. They’re the first ones on the frontlines to solve issues and enhance the customer experience. The only way to do both effectively is to show empathy.
Times are tough. 50% of Americans are living on each week’s paycheck alone. An empathetic tone and support from companies can go a long way for customers.
Showing empathy on social media isn’t just an engagement hack—it’s a requirement. Companies that lack empathy could be inadvertently turning away customers and missing out on revenue.
So how do you make sure you’re putting your best foot forward on social media with empathy?
We’ll show you. But first, let’s take a look at what it means to be empathetic on social media and why it’s so important.
What is Social Empathy?
Social empathy is the act of responding and engaging with prospects and customers through social media with care and concern.
Businesses that look at social media only as a transactional marketing channel aren’t getting the full use of the platforms.
On social media, your strategy shouldn’t rely on the mere promotion of your products or services. Instead, you should focus on connecting with customers and providing value.
Businesses with an empathetic social strategy are accessible, understanding, and solution-oriented. They are ready to address any concerns or issues that their prospects or customers may have.
Most companies do this in some capacity, but those with a fully-adopted empathetic social strategy are the ones that customers often return to for repeat purchases.
Since 78% of people use Facebook to discover new products, you mustn’t turn them off your brand with a lack of empathy and care in your posts.
Want to check to see if your social strategy has enough empathy? Perform a social audit.
Auditing Your Social Empathy
Social audits primarily focus on your social media performance. However, there are a few ways to audit your social accounts to better understand the level of empathy you’re showing.
Think of it as performing an “empathy audit” on your social channels to discover how you can improve. The steps you need to take include:
- Checking your social media response times. Is your team actively responding to potential customers
- Reviewing your automated responses. Do you have any FAQ automated responses set up on your channels?
- Assessing your accessibility. Do you have your company’s support phone number or email on your website? Quantify the different ways consumers can access you.
By auditing your social empathy, you can identify the pitfalls and missed opportunities to deliver an amazing customer experience.
Adding Empathy to Your Social Strategy
Businesses can infuse empathy into their social strategies in a variety of ways.
Some of the most popular ways include automating responses for frequent requests, launching empathetic paid ads, producing helpful videos, and leveraging podcasts for social storytelling.
1. Automating (Or Outsourcing) Responses for Frequent Requests
Taking a more empathetic approach to social media doesn’t have to take up the bulk of your team’s time. For simple requests, sometimes you just need to reply to the customer’s query for them to be happy.
There are numerous sales automation tools that can integrate directly with your social channels and customer service platform to provide auto-replies that will aid customers. You can use these tools to auto-program responses by building logic based on keywords and common queries.
It’s great to have that kind of data. If you see that you’re getting a lot of questions about a specific topic, it might be time to address it on your website. If automation isn’t possible in your business, the next best bet is to vet and hire freelancers.
With virtual assistants, chatbots or freelancers, you can quickly train them on your business, goals, and mission, and even develop a communications procedure for social media management.
2. Launching Empathetic Paid Ads
David Priemer, the founder of Cerebral Selling, said, “We buy feelings more than we buy logic.”
That’s why it’s good to lead with empathetic ads and other outbound campaigns. Don’t limit yourself to thinking that empathy starts and ends with your organic social media. The entire business should adopt an empathetic tone of voice as a part of your brand.
Empathy can be an ad positioning treatment used to improve the performance of your paid ads.
To infuse empathy into an ad, the image, graphic or graphic design as a whole should focus on how your product or service solves the problem that the customer might be facing. Empathetic ad copy such as “we know your pain” is useful to acknowledge the problems your customers may have and how your product can help.
Aaron Haynes, CEO of Loganix, said, “It isn’t enough to simply have a great product. Businesses need to care about their customers and deliver an optimal experience. Those that lead with empathy are more likely to show that experience and get customers to engage.”
Gerber launched a year-long ad campaign to promote BabyNes, a wifi-oriented device that makes baby formula.
The campaign didn’t focus only on the product’s specs and many features, it also depicted the benefits it provided. By showing stressed out, exhausted parents, Gerber was able to empathize with them and convey how BabyNes can improve their lives and bring peace of mind.
3. Producing Helpful Videos
Sometimes potential customers need to see the product in action before making a purchase. Product videos are a beneficial way to grow prospects and customers’ understanding of different uses for the product that will make consumers’ lives easier:
Businesses should also produce videos that provide industry knowledge and unique insight. Don’t just make your customers’ lives easy. Make them smarter, too.
Videos are dynamic and can even be repurposed beyond social strategy and even into your email marketing strategy –video email marketing is a must, after all -, making them a fantastic investment in your business as a whole.
4. Leveraging Podcasts for Social Storytelling
Podcasts seem to be the craze for consumers these days, so it’s essential to evaluate them from a business perspective. A company-owned recurring podcast is a fantastic medium for social storytelling. On it, you can feature customers to share their own experiences and create an environment that is conducive for learning and fellowship.
Podcasts can expose new customers to your brand. Have the customers featured on the podcast act as influencers and promote the content to their own followings. In addition, share the podcast on your social channels to reach engaged members of your audience who are tackling some of the same obstacles and issues discussed in the show.
Companies need to improve customer experience by showcasing empathy in their tone, copy, and design on social media channels. To add empathy in their social strategy, companies should automate responses for frequent requests, launch empathetic ads, produce helpful videos, and leverage podcasts for social storytelling.
Customers are flocking to these channels to complain and get questions answered. Companies that meet them with an empathetic response will not only defuse the situation but also win back the customer for good.
Author Bio: Virginia Zacharaki is the Marketing Communications Associate of Moosend, a highly competitive Email Marketing and Marketing Automation platform.