New Rules for Social Media Customer Service

Infini Kimbrough
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An increasing customer demand for company interaction via social media websites has many companies integrating social media into their customer service strategies. Social customer service is a good concept, but with a new concept comes new rules. If you want to succeed at social customer service, mastering social media etiquette and creating a social media strategy is imperative.

Response Time

Most companies guarantee a 24- to 48-hour response time when answering customer emails or phone messages. This is acceptable for traditional means of communication, but according to, 72 percent of customers expect a company to respond to a social media inquiry within one hour.

If your company can’t respond to all comments and concerns within one hour, you need to set expectations and display your response time on your social media profile page. By guaranteeing a response within a set amount of time and sticking to that timeframe, your customers won’t feel like their question, complaint or comment was ignored.

Be Thoughtful

Customers who take time to post a comment or address a concern via social media expect thoughtful responses. Bland, boilerplate responses are not acceptable. Unfortunately, it's easy to sound like a robot online. Try addressing the customer by name and mentioning aspects of the customer's message in your response. Taking the time to write thoughtful responses to social media comments could result in long-lasting customer relationships.

Address Problems

Anyone can view your social media profile, so it’s imperative that you address every single customer concern. Acknowledge problems as soon as possible, and let customers know when you will respond with a solution. When customers have problems that can’t be resolved via social media, point them to the correct place. It’s acceptable to let customers know that they need to call the customer service department to resolve an issue, but it’s not okay to ignore the issue just because it can’t be resolved online.

Monitor Your Brand

It’s common for consumers to post about companies or products on social media websites without contacting the company directly. By monitoring statuses and posts that mention your company name or your products, you can reach out to disgruntled consumers and resolve outstanding issues. In addition, monitoring your brand also allows you to thank customers who praise your company or products.

Social media websites give customers the ability to connect with your company 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but it is up to you to ensure the connection is a positive experience. By creating a social customer service strategy that revolves around social media etiquette, you set expectations for your customers and your social media team, making it easier for your company to establish long-term relationships with customers.


(Photo courtesy of phasinphoto /


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