When it comes to social media, it’s often pushed to the side as a medium that doesn’t bring in revenue, but that’s because too many brands use it as a one-way channel. Social is often used to push out specific content, promotional messaging and posts that have a clear goal of sales or something for the company — not for the people.
This is not what social media is.
To be a successful ecommerce brand on social media, you need to be just like everyone else; sharing stories, being real and not always pushing your messaging out.
According to Instagram, 90% of its social media users follow at least one brand, it shows they want to interact with them on a deeper level than just simply a sale. On top of this, Rival IQ shares that brands have an average engagement rate on Instagram of 1.2% across all channels.
Though this is lower than the average engagement rate for individuals, it shows an opportunity for brands to stand out and do something different to make themselves more human — and even get to a higher engagement rate.
How can this be done? Through responding to comments.
The average number of comments posts get is 24.5 and if you’re getting anything near this, or even if you’re only getting 5, those are people that have potential to do more for your brand than you know. With plenty of ways to answer these comments, there’s so many possibilities to connect, drive traffic and of course convert those consumers for revenue-driven purposes.
Each comment is a direct notification for your consumer reminding you of your brand
You can think of it this way, each comment is a direct notification for your consumer reminding you of your brand. They see that you actually responded in an honest way, which many brands don’t, which can drive them to think about you more often. It’s personalization at its finest.
So, at the end of the day you have a real opportunity to stand out when it comes to responding to comments and connecting with potential customers via social media. In this article, you’ll learn all about how to do this in order to make a lasting impression.
Your Brand Can Be Human
With all the scheduling platforms out there, it’s easy for brands to start looking quite robotic online. The problem is, once you get complacent doing this, it’s hard to get back to being human on social media.
The problem with going robotic is that it goes completely against everything that social media stands for — which is community. If you don’t feed into this, your brand won’t be able to see the rewards that the platforms can bring.
With comments in particular, this is the best way to show your brand’s “human” side outside of what you write in each post’s copy and through Stories.
How exactly can you do this efficiently? Well there’s a few ways.
To start, you’re going to want to ensure there’s people consistently checking in on your social channels, whether it’s a social media manager or delegating social media responsibilities to your customer support team.
One way you can be less robotic in nature is through humor. Give yourself some personality! People love to see it when brands have a sense of humor, can take themselves not so seriously and just can have some fun with social media. Using memes in posts can spark a lot of comments and opportunity to respond with something else to make them laugh. This can develop a further connection.
One brand that tends to do this well is Redbubble by using humorous posts from time to time, they give off a more human-like response.
One thing you see a lot of brands do when responding to comments is just simply use emojis, or give one-word answers to comments. Sometimes, this is understandable, but most of the time you can go a bit deeper with your response.
To keep the conversation going, try answering the person’s comment and then asking a follow up question. Sparking threads like this can open up further conversation with people even outside of just the two of you. That's because by asking questions and really responding, you’re not just sending automatic messages back but really listening and discussing in a way that should be happening on a social media channel.
This leads us to the last point about being less robotic, spark REAL conversation. When you send out fake responses that don’t have much heart into them, it comes across like you’re just posting to rack up comment numbers. Keep in mind, these responses don’t need to be a paragraph, but can be something as simple as Havvar Studios’ response above — adding a little bit extra to show that human side.
Community Building & Trust
You may already feel like you have your VIP community for your brand in check and engaging through newsletters and other methods. When it comes to social media though, it’s the perfect opportunity to broaden that entire network of people dedicated to your brand.
Your social media following can be just as, if not more, engaged with your brand than you think. From being ambassadors to purchasing directly on the channel (especially with the Shop feature on Instagram continuously evolving) it’s important to not ignore what being engaged can do.
One of the strongest outcomes outside of revenue growth when it comes to responding to comments is the fact that as you build this dedicated community of buyers, you gain trust from them but also people viewing the page. With 89% of consumers looking for companies to act with integrity at all times, it’s clear that social media is a key puzzle piece to build trust and through honest comments and responses. Consumers are more savvy than ever before and with more choices than ever, the one deciding factor to bring a new customer in can easily be whether or not you engage with comments and respond in a transparent, quick way.
So, what are some of the things you can do to ensure you’re building that trust, show transparency and start creating a strong social media community? We have a few thoughts:
- Respond to comments more often and try and extend the conversation
- Respond as quickly as you can. Fast responses create a more engaged and honest community.
- Don’t just focus on positive comments, always respond to negative ones too, but make sure that you’re not responding with a cookie cutter response. Address the product they mention, and always write individual unique responses to each negative comment.
One last thing, it’s not only comments on your brand’s page that matters — it’s your advertisements too.
Yes, ALL Social Media Comments Can Lead to Sales
We’ve been referring a lot to the organic side of social media, but one area a lot of brands forget to check on in terms of comments is advertising.
When it comes to social media ads, many people treat this just like a post — even though they know it’s an advertisement. For that reason, it should be treated the same for you too. Oftentimes, since it’s reaching new, wider audiences, these advertisements can bring in new leads and people asking questions directly on the ad.
Take Saje Wellness for example. This advertisement in particular brought on many comments and on one particular thread where Saje Wellness was commenting back and forth, people were asking questions even beyond the initial one and they were able to respond quickly and appropriately.
What happens when you don’t respond quickly, and in a human way? They see themselves as becoming just a number.
Now, the above from Serengetee is something you want to avoid. Not only could they have gone into a bit more details as to why that cotton blend in particular makes their shirts so soft, they also haven’t responded to her follow up questions. This is something that could have led to a new customer, but instead she likely decided to go with another brand doing something similar.
Oftentimes, questions on advertisements are something geared more towards your customer support team, which is why marketing needs to work with them in order to make further sales through comments. In advertisements (and on organic posts) don’t be scared to share a promo code if the opportunity presents itself. If someone says “I’ve always wanted to try this!” you can push them over the line, turning them into a customer with a 10% discount.
With ad spend and bids going up year over year, you want to maximize the ROI on all your dollars spent. Ensuring that you respond to people on your ads does just that. It may not always lead to a sale, but a comment responded to will make you stand out and have someone remembering you when they’re ready to purchase.
You can compare it to not optimizing your advertisements, why sit around when they could be working even better?
Now, let’s just into how this truly ties into customer support, because we have mentioned it a couple times now.
Social Media IS Also Customer Support
With so many potential and previous customers following your brand on social media, it truly does become a customer support space. Between comments, direct messages and messages, there’s countless avenues that could turn into a customer support line.
Oftentimes, it even becomes an alternative to the support line itself. If live chat on-site is taking a bit too long, they often double up and head to the social channel to ask their question, hoping for a faster response. These questions can range from topics like shipping, returns, or even something general about a product. Oftentimes, these questions can also be used to put pressure on brands, asking them questions about what they do, shipping or product issues. Customers writing this on your wall publicly gives you an opportunity to respond in a healthy, transparent way which can help you gain trust amongst your followers.
Normally, when someone hops on social media they’ll stick around for a couple of minutes to scroll through their feed. So, if you answer quickly, they’ll get that notification bar pop up prompting another response. This can lead to a new sale much faster than if you were to not be responsive, or respond late.
This is essential to making your social media channels more than simply a podium where only the brand speaks. By tying in customer support there’s a trust and reliance there that people expect and hope to see from new brands they buy from — or have already bought from.
When it comes to comments, this is especially true. There, people can see exactly how you respond, how quickly and can build trust from there.
It’s All In The Responses
What this all comes down to is one thing; don’t ignore your social media audiences! You never know who’s on the other side of that screen — it could be your next brand ambassador. Plus, when you’re responding to comments, it’s like the equivalent to a 100% open rate with email marketing — which is a dream for most of us. So, make sure you’re leaving a good impression that isn’t robotic and using your brand tone of voice that will keep them remembering you.
When you’re responding to comments, it’s like the equivalent to a 100% open rate with email marketing — which is a dream for most of us
Tying in customer support is one of the best ways to do this and always will be. The easiest way? Centralizing all of it in one dashboard for consistency and higher response rates.
Luckily you can do that and more with Gorgias (plus can get a 7-day free trial to test it out!). Using Gorgias' social media features, you’re able to connect Facebook and Instagram comments from both organic social media and advertising to make sure you don’t miss a thing. With all of this in one app, you can answer right from Gorgias using text, an image and even reactions!
One of the best parts is that if they are a previous customer your team will be able to see all their information in one spot even if they’re communicating with you on social. This means a more personalized, real experience for the customer, which we all know is highly important.
If you’re ready to jump in and see how Gorgias can help amplify your sales using social channels and responding to comments, we’d love to chat!