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Make customer service a priority in your online presence

While brands strive to provide the best customer service they can, it often falls short when it comes to that brand’s online presence, but it doesn’t have to.

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Approachability in social media

When I think of social media, quite a few adjectives come to mind: social (obviously), interactive, communicative, approachable and friendly. People strive to achieve this voice when they go about building their online presence. You want your online network to feel like they can come to you with regards to your business. You want to be approachable, and you want your network to feel like you want to interact with them and hear what they have to say. That’s where customer service comes in.

One thing that I see a lack of is using these mediums to provide superior customer service to your clients. It’s important to make sure that you’re keeping an eye out for messages, comments and questions that come through on your various online platforms. Whether it’s Twitter, Yelp, your blog, or Facebook, you need to address the interaction that you receive on each page.

I know that it’s difficult to keep up with every single social media site out there. It’s like we’re inundated with the possibilities on the internet each day. It can fry your brain. The key is to designate time each day to spend on social media sites, and not just to post, but to interact and reach out to your customers. You need to show your network that you care about them.

How to provide customer service in a noisy world

With that in mind, make sure you are doing these things when you log in to your various social networking sites and/or blog:

Check your messages, mentions, and notifications on a regular basis. Do you know how often I log in to a client’s Facebook account and see that they have 40 unread messages and 75 notifications? I have a phrase to describe this: missed opportunities. People use Facebook as a means for communicating nowadays. If someone doesn’t have your number or email address, chances are they’re going to take to social media to get ahold of you. You could miss a client’s question, a new lead or a referral. On Twitter, many send quick tweets with their questions and want a response. People could also ask you questions or inquire about services in your blog comments. If you’re not checking these things, you could be missing out on the chance to get more business. Make this a priority every time you hop on a social platform!

Address comments or reviews, but use your discretion. People can hide behind their computers on the Internet. They can type whatever they want and put it online and not have to deal with backlash directly. That’s just the world that we live in today. With that being said, you are going to encounter feedback of the positive and negative sort. You will want to address all positive feedback enthusiastically. It shows that you care about the people supporting you. When it comes to negative feedback, you can either choose to ignore it altogether or address it one time. Addressing each negative review does show you care, but it can also cause a back and forth that looks unprofessional. Responding to a negative remark one time, and one time only, shows that you care without creating a stir.

Many overlook the fact that you can utilize your online presence to improve your customer service. Yes, you’d like to get leads and new business, but you also want to use it to stay connected with and assist your current and past client base, as well. The tactics that I mentioned above will help you provide extensive customer service in the online aspect of your business.

Now start reaching out, and remember: keep your eyes peeled!

Carrie Gable & the Real Estate Virtual Assistant team at RealSupport, Inc. work virtually for many top real estate agents & brokers nationwide, offering marketing campaigns, branding, website & logo design, listing marketing efforts, lead management, technical support, marketing presentations, social media setup & management, copywriting, blogging and much more.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Dede_Watson

    August 22, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    @CENTURY21 My question is about Direct Mail. Do you feel the effectiveness has decreased, stayed the same or improved this year?

  2. leegmoser

    October 24, 2012 at 4:09 am

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Social Media

Facebook wants your nudes now to protect you from revenge porn later

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook, attempting to get in front of revenge porn, is requesting that users send in all of their nudes.

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In a heroic and totally innovative attempt to combat revenge porn, Facebook has come up with the following solution: “PM US UR NUDEZ.”

No seriously. They want your nudes.

But don’t worry, they’re only going to be viewed by a small group of people for manual confirmation of said nudes, and then stored temporarily… for reasons.

That part gets a little fuzzy. Some sources report that Facebook isn’t actually storing the images, just the links. This is meant to convert the image to a digital footprint, known as a hash, which is supposed to prevent the content from being upload to Facebook again.

Others say Facebook only stores the images for a short period of time and then deletes them.

What we do know, is this is a new program being tested in Australia where Facebook has partnered with a small government agency known as e-Safety and is requesting intimate or nude photos that could potentially be used for revenge porn in an effort to pre-emptively prevent such an incident.

Revenge porn is basically when someone uploads your personal and private photos online without your consent. Rather than address the issue of whether or not it’s such a good idea to take photos on a mobile, hackable device, it’s better to just send a large corporation all your nudes… through their Messenger app. /sarcasm

For your protection.

According to the commissioner of the e-Safety office, Julie Inman Grant, however, they’re using artificial intelligence and photo-matching technologies… and storing the links!

If this isn’t convincing enough, British law firm Mishcon de Reya LLP wrote in a statement to Newsweek, “We would expect that Facebook has absolutely watertight systems to guard the privacy of victims. It is quite counter-intuitive to send such intimate images to an unknown recipient.”

Oh, she wasn’t joking.

I’m not sure how many people still hold onto old intimate photos of themselves, but I am doubtful that it’s enough for this to really be effective as it only prevents intimate photos from being shared on Facebook. At least that’s the plan.

Reactions to this announcement have largely been met with amusement and criticism ranging from commentary on Mark Zuckerberg and Co. being total pervs, and theories of shared Facebook memories: “”Happy Memories: It’s been 1 Year since you uploaded 47 pictures of you in your birthday suit”!

Either way, I can only imagine someone’s inbox is flooded with crotch shots right now, and Zuckerberg has a potential new industry in the works.

Just sayin’.

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Social Media

Twitter might make a profit for the first time… ever

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Twitter seems to be very popular but it may surprise you to know that this is the very first time they might make a profit.

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Twitter reports that after a year of slashing expenses and putting itself in a position to sell data to other companies, it’s expected to be profitable. What’s surprising (considering how #huge Twitter is) is that this the first time that it will be profitable based on “generally accepted accounting principles” – #GAAP!.

In the 11 years since Twitter took to the field, it has never once met this standard, operating at a loss of nearly 2.5 billion dollars since its inception.

Twitter has struggled of a number of reasons, but particularly after going public in 2013 it suffered declining user growth, the rise of the #twittertrolls (coincidentally, Troll’s are discussed in my favorite TIME piece about the internet – located here), and competition from Facebook for the tough realm of advertising.

Since 2013, shares fell steadily, but things have increased thanks to some optimistic changes – the promise to crack down on harassment and abuse, a feed arranged by algorithm instead of time, and Twitter’s most vocal fan of late, President Donald Trump.

For the numbers fans, Reuters provides some input: Twitter’s loss narrowed to about 21 million down from 103 million this year. They have worked to cut a great deal of expenses -16 percent across the board broadly impacting sales, marketing, and R&D.

This kind of focused core improvement (can) help tip the balance sheet on the expenses side – but generating revenues remains a challenge due to slow growth. Twitter hopes to relieve this by working out some deals to sell data – the currency of the 21st century.

Several months ago, TechCrunch made perhaps the most important observation – that despite the fact Twitter has changed the world, changed our marketing, and empowered us to connect with other people, it has remained unprofitable. Many small and large businesses profit from Twitter, but in these 11 years the company hasn’t #sharedinthewealth.

Twitter is touching every realm of business and for American’s, is touching every aspect of their lives given its new form as the preferred medium of the political sphere. Given that, they have much to do to change.

Facebook commands an audience five times the size of Twitter – and their ability to reach success for the future seems #questionable. And how Twitter’s success changes the scape of influence, outreach, and entrepreneurship is something else to be seen.

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Social Media

Is Facebook a potential Slack killer?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook’s steady ascent from social networking into the business world is giving Slack a run for their money.

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When it comes to the business realm, Facebook has steadily been increasing their reputation. Though Facebook is pinned as the social network, they are now proving to everyone that they can dominate in the professional sector as well.

Last year, Facebook launched an ad-free version of the site meant for the office called Workplace. Initially, 1,000 companies were signed on to try out this “Facebook for the office” in its starter phase.

As of last week, Facebook announced that 30,000 organizations currently use Workplace. These aren’t just small time companies. Some of Workplace’s users include Starbucks, Lyft, Spotify, Heineken, Delta and most recently Walmart.

It seems that overnight it grew from another side project to a valid rival for other professional communication tools like Slack.

Slack is the go-to site for business professionals. With over 6 million users and acquiring more every day, Slack is the place for teams to collaborate in real-time. It has virtually replaced email and external software when it comes to internal communication.

Slack has been successful at acquiring small corporations to use their service.

The problem is that Slack has yet to join forces with larger clients that have now turned to other applications. Just last year, Uber left Slack because they could not handle their large-scale communication needs.

In addition to being able to handle the needs of large companies, Facebook also offers cheaper services than Slack. A premium account with Workplace costs $3 per user each month while Slack charges double at $6.67 per user each month.

With the rapid growth and major reputation of Facebook behind it, many predict that Workplace will replace Slack, and other sites like it, in the not so distant future.

Recently, Facebook also launched the Workplace desktop app and plan to include group video chat. The biggest obstacle Workplace faces is the association with Facebook. It is ironic, since it is also their greatest strength.

The truth remains that many people think of Facebook solely as a social media network. Many companies forbid the use of it at work so the transition from the personal to the professional realm is still an uphill battle.

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