Leveraging Social Media to Optimize Your Customer Service

Social media has become an integral part of how we communicate, share, and function as a society. Globally, over 62% of the world’s population regularly uses social media, and stateside in the USA, that figure climbs to nearly 92% [1] [2].

Social media fanatics aren’t just using their favorite platforms to talk to one another; they’re likewise interacting with businesses and brands. Just like the telephone, email, and digital chat platforms of the past, social media is now a go-to avenue for customers hoping to connect with companies and receive customer service. 

Thus, in order to provide a convenient, modern way for your clientele to access your brand and your representatives, you’ll need to optimize your social media presence and customer service experience. In this month’s edition of Creative Juice, we’re discussing the importance of providing customer assistance via social media and laying out some best practices for companies to keep your connections (i.e., your clientele) satisfied with your service.

Why Is Social Media a Popular Space For Customer Service?

Pictures of pets, targeted advertisements, and entertaining videos seem to populate the majority of social media users’ feeds. So, that begs the question, where does customer service fit into this endless scroll of content?

Firstly, social media and its users have become complex and multifaceted. For instance, less than half of contemporary users (49.5%) employ social media for its original purpose: staying in touch with friends and family [3]. Instead, users aim to [3]:

  • Find information for things to do and buy 
  • Find products to purchase 
  • See content from their favorite brands 
  • Follow celebrities or influencers 

In essence, many key aspects of consumer culture—including browsing, buying, and being influenced—have become inextricably linked with our social media feeds. And, since users are getting their recommendations and products from social media platforms, they’ve come to expect their customer service in the same space.

Social media users have taken to lodging complaints and queries via their favorite platforms—and they expect responses. Around 79% of social media users allow brands a reasonable 24 hours before expecting a response, but an impatient 39% want their questions answered within 60 minutes [4]. 

Either way, the masses have flocked to social media as the next space for sorting out customer service concerns—and that’s where your company must meet them.

Best Practices for Providing Customer Service Via Social Media 

Assuming you have business accounts on all the leading social media sites (Facebook, Instagram, X, etc.) and you opt-in to receive messages, customers will likely reach out to you with questions or complaints. In order to assist them with their issues and provide the best possible customer experience, you should:

  • Be responsive – As previously mentioned, many customers expect lightning-quick responses to their social media queries. Making clients wait extended periods for your answer will only compound the frustration or concern they’re feeling with their issue and may cause them to second guess their relationship with your brand. So, answer as quickly as possible and, if they contact you outside of business hours, set an away message that lets them know when you’ll get to their query as soon as you can.
  • Be cordial – Just like sales personnel represent a brand in brick-and-mortar storefronts, your social media pages speak for your company online. Always use a cordial tone and try to amicably resolve each customer’s requests. Remember, some customers will reach out to you publicly via your Facebook timeline, Instagram comments, or X mentions. All your followers and connections will be able to see these interactions, so be kind and don’t say anything that will reflect poorly on your brand. 
  • Offer resolution – When customers come forward with complaints and questions, they want satisfactory answers that will solve their issues. Whether it’s a piece of solid advice, a discount for a prior negative experience, or an update on the status of their order, strive to provide solid responses that ultimately resolve their problem. 
  • Supplement with Automation– Chatbots have been on the rise in recent years and it’s simple to see why: they cost next to nothing in comparison to real customer service agents and they can work around the clock. Furthermore, 62% of consumers say they actually prefer speaking with a chatbot versus a human representative [5]. Despite their popularity, chatbots aren’t perfect. Recently, Canadian flagship airline Air Canada was held legally liable for a policy its chatbot invented and was subsequently forced to pay a user compensation as a result [6]. Before signing up for an automated service, debate what is the best approach for your business.  

All in all, customers are going to turn to social media to ask their questions and air their concerns. So, when they do, it’s best to be prepared to deliver excellent customer service by leaning on these best practices.

Coal Creative: Where Social Media Brilliance Meets Customer Service Excellence

Are you already using social media to engage with customers and build a following? If so, then you can double down on these efforts and meet your audience where they need you most—in the customer service department. 

Companies who invest in social media to provide customer support close the digital gap with their audience and provide a unique online experience. If this sounds daunting, know that we’re here to help. At Coal Creative, we’re always ready to support your mission of providing excellent customer service through your social channels.

Reach out today if you’re interested in learning more.


[1] “Number of internet and social media users worldwide as of January 2024(in billions).” Statista. January, 2024. https://www.statista.com/statistics/617136/digital-population-worldwide/. Accessed February 23, 2024.

[2] “Social media usage in the United States – Statistics & Facts.” Statista. December 18, 2023. https://www.statista.com/topics/3196/social-media-usage-in-the-united-states/#topicOvervie. Accessed February 23, 2024. 

[3] “Most popular reasons for internet users worldwide to use social media as of 3rd quarter 2023.” Statista. January, 2024. https://www.statista.com/statistics/715449/social-media-usage-reasons-worldwide/. Accessed February 23, 2024.

[4] “What Are Your Customers’ Expectations for Social Media Response Time?.” HubSpot. March 17, 2021. https://blog.hubspot.com/service/social-media-response-time. Accessed February 23, 2024. 

[5] “Consumer Preference For Chatbots Is Challenging Brands To Think ‘Bot First’.” Forbes. August 16, 2019. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2019/08/16/consumer-preference-for-chatbots-is-challenging-brands-to-think-bot-first/?sh=1298c0010f84. Accessed February 23, 2024.
[6] “Air Canada found liable for chatbot’s bad advice on plane tickets.” Canadian Broadcasting Center. February 17, 2024. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/air-canada-chatbot-lawsuit-1.7116416. Accessed February 23, 2024.

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