A birds eye view of Clearlinkers gathered in a meeting
A birds eye view of Clearlinkers gathered in a meeting

A Brand Love Story:

How to Evolve Your Social Media Strategy to Put Customers First

Sparks fly when customer care and marketing come together in one social CX strategy. It’s no secret that social media plays a critical role in how consumers regard, choose, interact with and remain loyal to brands. They’re paying attention to your social presence (or absence), and what they see in your customer interactions counts toward how they feel about your brand. Social media strategy has evolved beyond advertising and has become a huge component of many brands’ customer service operations. But it doesn’t stop there.

The State of Social CX

We’re in the midst of an exciting shift in the relationship between consumers and the brands they choose. We’ve reached the point where the overall customer experience (CX) means more to consumers than price or even product. This means that every stage of the customer journey — awareness, consideration, conversion, support, loyalty and advocacy — affects the brand/customer relationship. And because the majority of interactions occur through digital touchpoints, social media is sitting front and center on what is often a very public stage.

What you do — or don’t do — on social media can make or break relationships with current and potential customers. Which is why it’s so critical to develop this space as a shared frontier for both your marketing and customer support departments.

Customer Service and IS Marketing

The past decade of digital evolution has proven that ignoring customer complaints on social media damages a brand’s reputation. Nearly 80% of consumers who complained online about a brand or asked a question through social media had their complaints and questions ignored.

So, it makes sense that many companies have shifted their response strategy priorities to increase customer support. But when it comes to optimizing interactions across the entire CX, “replying to resolve” isn’t going to be enough. Yes, it’s still important to respond to customer complaints, but that’s only one side of the conversation about your brand that’s happening on social media. By proactively connecting one-on-one with consumers who are organically sharing neutral and positive sentiments about your brand, you foster those relationships as well, instead of just putting out fires.

This proactive, organic approach to social engagement builds that bridge between marketing and customer support, enabling an improved CX at multiple touchpoints on the journey — all in a space that customers often turn to first. But how do you evolve your strategy to achieve all this?

Where to Start

Begin by listening. To everything. Monitoring customer feedback and brand mentions on social media is crucial to identifying opportunities to make connections. But don’t just listen for negative feedback and support requests. Keep an eye on posts and mentions where customers are organically discussing your product, comparing your brand to others, or just appreciating your brand in general. Reinforce those relationships by engaging directly with the poster and acknowledging that they are important to you. 

A positive experience with a brand can be just as impactful as a negative one, and social media magnifies the reach of both. When a customer engages a brand on social media, they aren’t the only ones paying attention to the response (or lack thereof). Followers on both sides, yours and your customers’, can see everything that happens next. So why not take advantage of that attention to strengthen your relationship with the poster while inspiring new connections with those who are watching? 

Personal, positive interactions from a brand let customers know they’re being heard and appreciated — and they LOVE that.

Moving the Needle

At Clearlink, we’ve considered this idea (extensively) and have developed proactive and positive social engagement solutions for our brand partners, including one of today’s most well-known global technology companies. After the first year of the program, the brand, which specializes in internet-related services and products, experienced the following results:

+24 pts.

Net promoter score





The Bottom Line

Poorly managed social media marketing and support is SO 2010. Today, consumers don’t just expect brands to have a social media presence, they expect that presence to be valuable. Bridge the gap between addressing public customer grievances and fostering positive consumer connections by employing a social media strategy that focuses on both.

Going beyond “mitigate and resolve” to include a strategy that will “surprise and delight” on social media will make loyal brand advocates out of your customers, followers and your customers’ followers. And by giving both your customer service and marketing teams the opportunity to engage in this space, you improve the CX at multiple touchpoints of the journey, increasing customer lifetime value.

Partner with Clearlink Social