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New Report Underlines the Importance of Social for Customer Service



For a growing number of brands, social platforms have become key customer service channels, enabling consumers to get in touch, quickly and easily, on the platforms that they’re already using, while also providing businesses with an opportunity to address and resolve concerns, and provide further assistance as needed.

And as more businesses jump on the social customer care train, that then raises the bar of expectation for others. These days, consumers expect to be able to shoot businesses a quick message, or tweet a brand handle and get a reply.

That increased expectation is underlined in a new survey from Boston Digital, which incorporates responses from 554 people in regards to why they follow brands on social, what they expect to see, in terms of content, and what turns them away. 

You can read the full results in BD’s report, but here’s a summary of some key highlights.

First off, the responses show that the key reason why people follow brands on social is to get more information about that businesses’ products.   

Boston Digital report

As you can see, the top two responses are ‘Helpful information related to one of my hobbies’ and ‘Product information’. That underlines the key use case for your social audience – while sharing content that’ll see more engagement, like inspirational quotes or memes, might see your numbers jump, if it drifts too far from your core use case, you’re not helping to build your brand. Better to have ten followers who’ll become paying customers than a thousand whose only contributions will be in the form of post likes. 

That said, ‘Funny or interesting content’ does come in as the third most common reason for following a brand page, so there is clearly some value to this. But the overall data here would suggest that the focus should be on your core offerings, and staying on brand with your social content. 

‘Insider deals’ comes in at fourth on the list – which is interesting in relation to the next element.

Boston Digital report

Promotions and exclusive deals are the top two reasons why respondents indicated that they’re likely to make a purchase based on a brand’s social media activity, so providing a level of exclusivity, and keeping your audience informed of relevant offers, is another key use case. 

In combination, these first two elements suggest that product information/updates are the key focus, with some entertaining content mixed in, along with exclusive offers and deals. I mean, those results are likely what many would have expected, but worth noting in your strategic planning either way.

From a social customer care perspective, Boston Digital also asked respondents why they’re most likely to get in touch with a brand via social.

Boston Digital report

The top two responses are ‘questions about product/service’ and ‘problem with product service’ – so both key customer service areas. ‘Positive feedback about their offering’ comes in a way back from the top two responses, but that also somewhat underlines the customer service impact.

As noted in the intro, more consumers are looking for this type of assistance on social. It’s worth considering if/how you can provide it, and improve on your process. 

That, specifically, is reflected in the next element.

Boston Digital report

More than half of respondents said that it was either ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ important for a brand to respond to their feedback on social. For the most part, it probably goes without saying, but if you’re not paying attention to customer queries online, you’re missing out, and it’s worth re-assessing your processes to address such.

And summing this up, among the most common reasons why people unfollow brands is ‘content not relevant’ and ‘lack of response to questions or comments’. 

Boston Digital report

Posting too frequently is another turn off, as is boring content – while disagreement with company values is another noted issue. On the latter, it’s important to separate your personal and professional presences, and while data does suggest that younger consumers, in particular, better align with brands that take a social stance, it is worth considering how you communicate such, and whether your brand profile is the right place to focus those efforts.

As noted, there’s more insight in Boston Digital’s full report, covering a range of key elements and considerations for your social media strategy. If you’ve not caught up on some of these aspects, it’s worth taking in the data, and looking at whether you can better cater to rising consumer demands via your social presence.


Planning for 2023: What Social Media Marketers Need to Win in 2023



Planning for 2023: What Social Media Marketers Need to Win in 2023

January is, for many, a month of reflection, goal-setting, strategizing and planning for the year ahead. 

In line with this, we’ve kicked off the new year with a series of articles covering the latest stats, tips and strategies to help social media marketers build an effective game plan for 2023.

Below, you’ll find links to our 2023 social media planning series, which includes:

  • Content strategy guidelines to help you define your brand’s content mission and set SMART goals
  • Organic posting tips for Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Pinterest 
  • Explainers on how to research key topics of interest in your niche, understand the competitive landscape, and help you find your audience and connect with them where they’re active
  • A holiday calendar and notes on the best days and times to post to each of the major platforms


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Meta says Trump to be allowed back on Facebook, Instagram



Meta wants the UK to keep some EU e-commerce rules instead of scrapping them in its planned bonfire of Brussels legislation



Social networking giant Meta announced Tuesday it would soon reinstate former president Donald Trump’s accounts on Facebook and Instagram with “new guardrails,” two years after he was banned over the 2021 US Capitol insurrection.

“We will be reinstating Mr. Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts in the coming weeks,” Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, said in a statement, adding that the move would come with “new guardrails in place to deter repeat offenses.”

Going forward, the Republican leader — who has already declared himself a 2024 presidential candidate — could be suspended for up to two years for each violation of platform policies, Clegg said.

It was not clear when or if Trump will return to the platforms, and his representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But the 76-year-old tycoon reacted in typically bullish fashion, crowing that Facebook had lost “billions of dollars in value” in his absence.

“Such a thing should never again happen to a sitting President, or anybody else who is not deserving of retribution!” he said on his Truth Social platform.

Facebook banned Trump a day after the January 6, 2021 uprising, when a mob of his supporters seeking to halt the certification of his election defeat to Joe Biden stormed the US Capitol in Washington.

The former reality TV star had spent weeks falsely claiming that the presidential election was stolen from him and he was subsequently impeached for inciting the riot.

In a letter asking for the ban to be overturned, Trump’s lawyer Scott Gast said last week that Meta had “dramatically distorted and inhibited the public discourse.”

He asked for a meeting to discuss Trump’s “prompt reinstatement to the platform” of Facebook, where he had 34 million followers, arguing that his status as the leading contender for the Republican nomination in 2024 justified ending the ban.

American Civil Liberties Union executive director Anthony Romero said Meta was making “the right call” by allowing Trump back onto the social network.

“Like it or not, President Trump is one of the country’s leading political figures and the public has a strong interest in hearing his speech,” Romero said in a release.

“Indeed, some of Trump’s most offensive social media posts ended up being critical evidence in lawsuits filed against him and his administration.”

The ACLU has filed more than 400 legal actions against Trump, according to Romero.

– Extremism engine? –

Advocacy groups such as Media Matters for America, however, vehemently oppose allowing Trump to exploit Facebook’s social networking reach.

“Make no mistake — by allowing Donald Trump back on its platforms, Meta is refueling Trump’s misinformation and extremism engine,” said Media Matters president Angelo Carusone.

“This not only will have an impact on Instagram and Facebook users, but it also presents intensified threats to civil society and an existential threat to United States democracy as a whole.”

A US congressional committee recommended in December that Trump be prosecuted for his role in the US Capitol assault.

His Twitter account, which has 88 million followers, was also blocked after the riot, leaving him to communicate through Truth Social, where he has fewer than five million followers.

Trump’s shock victory in 2016 was credited in part to his leverage of social media and his enormous digital reach.

New Twitter owner Elon Musk reinstated Trump’s account last November, days after the brash billionaire announced a fresh White House run. He has yet to post.

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Things May Finally Be Looking Up for Meta Stock



Things May Finally Be Looking Up for Meta Stock

Last year was brutal for Meta Platforms (META 3.01%). The Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger parent’s ad revenue suffered as a weak macroeconomic environment and changes to ad tracking and measurement on Apple‘s mobile operating system combined to create a significant headwind.

This headwind wreaked havoc on the stock, with shares of the tech company declining 65% last year. But The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that there may be some signs of improvement in Meta’s business — something that could prove to be a catalyst for the stock.

Here’s a look at why 2023 could be a decent year for Meta’s business and possibly its stock, too.

Meta’s nightmare 2022

It’s not surprising that Meta’s stock took a beating last year. The bad news started early in 2022, when Meta reported its fourth-quarter 2021 results and said first-quarter revenue growth would slow dramatically due to Apple’s iOS changes, a weak macroeconomic environment, and a shift of user engagement within the company’s apps to its TikTok-like Reels format, which was monetizing at a lower rate than its more mature formats. 

These trends largely persisted throughout 2022, as revenue growth decelerated dramatically in Q1 and turned negative by Q2. Revenue growth continued to decline on a year-over-year basis in Q3, and management said it expected fourth-quarter revenue to decline between 3% and 11% year over year. The midpoint of this range would be worse than the company’s 4% revenue decline in Q3.

A turnaround may be underway

While Meta’s performance was dismal last year, management emphasized on several occasions that it was confident it could turn things around eventually. In particular, the social media company believed it would be able to build out solutions to make its ad tracking and measurement less reliant on Apple’s mobile operating system’s capabilities. Further, Meta said throughout the year that even though its Reels format may be a headwind today, it would become a tailwind as the company improved its monetization.

Based on a report from WSJ on Friday, Meta has been making progress on these fronts. Investment in artificial intelligence tools to improve ad-targeting and forecasting and a shift to ad products that are less reliant on Apple’s mobile operating system are paying off, WSJ reports. “Executives told employees in October that Meta expected to begin rebounding from Apple’s change as soon as that quarter, which ended Dec. 31,” wrote WSJ‘s Jeff Horwitz and Salvador Rodriguez, citing “internal documents” at Meta.

Of course, it’s still impossible to know what Meta’s fourth-quarter results may look like. We’ll find out when the company reports fourth-quarter results on Feb. 1. It’s worth noting that Meta’s third-quarter report was released toward the end of October — the same month WSJ said executives reported these improvements to employees, and almost a month into Q4. Management, therefore, likely attempted to conservatively bake in any improvements it was seeing into its fourth-quarter revenue guidance.

While it’s possible Meta surprises to the upside for its fourth-quarter 2022 results, the internal documents WSJ cites at least provide an encouraging backdrop for a potential turnaround in the company’s top-line trajectory in 2023.

Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Daniel Sparks has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. His clients may own shares of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Apple and Meta Platforms. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long March 2023 $120 calls on Apple and short March 2023 $130 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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