3 steps toward efficient social media customer service 

How to offer great customer service on social media? Our Foundever social media experts Alexis Christoforou and Jean-Baptiste Ong share their recipe.

Published ·November 6, 2023

Reading time·5 min

Social media is a major communication channel for brands and their customers. This means that customer service is no longer contained within traditional support channels but is conducted openly for all to see.  

This presents brands with both huge risk and opportunity: leave customer requests unanswered or poorly handled on public forums and your brand can suffer the consequences of negative reviews that spiral. Or offer personalized support and engagement, and you reap the benefits of a potential surge in positive online sentiment and customer loyalty. 

Managing customer care in this landscape is no simple feat. Customers expect increasingly fast response times and cohesive assistance across a multitude of channels. At the same time, traditional contact centers often lack the specialist skills required for providing effective customer care on social media and living up to customer expectations of a seamless experience across traditional and social channels. 

To overcome these challenges, a strong global social media strategy combined with the right hands-on skills to implement it is essential. 

We asked Foundever social media experts Alexis Christoforou and Jean-Baptiste Ong for their recipe for efficient social media care. Here’s what they told us. 

1. Define your strategy 

Make sure to define the main objective of your social media care. Every brand will have different goals for their social media care strategy. However, there are some objectives that occur more frequently than others, mostly related to brand image and the management of critical issues.  

If you want to make social media a main channel for customer service, you need a solid strategy. It’s what will guide you through the ever-changing customer expectations. It must include guidelines that will help the team to master conversations on different social channels, using the right tone of voice and defining the dos and don’ts for each social channel. 

In the words of Alexis Christoforou, Global Social Media Lead, “One of the cornerstones of a rock-solid social media strategy is our commitment to answering 100% of incoming messages. Whether they are public or private, positive, negative or neutral — each message is an opportunity. From the comments on Facebook to DMs on Instagram and reviews on Trustpilot, every touchpoint is a chance to build or reinforce your brand’s relationship with the customer.” 

But speed is also a critical factor. Jean-Baptiste Ong, Head of Social Media Delivery, couldn’t agree more: “Here’s the catch — it’s not just about answering messages, it’s about the speed at which you do it. In today’s digital marketplace, time is indeed of the essence. By setting a reduced time frame for responses, we’re not just meeting customer expectations, we’re exceeding them. This commitment to swift and comprehensive replies transforms casual interactions into enduring brand relationships.” 

Whatever the main objective of your social media strategy, it must be perfectly integrated into the overall experience you want to offer your customers. Integrating social media into your CX strategy offers the highest potential when it’s seamlessly connected to the other channels you use to create a connection with your customers. 

More on social media CX and what it can do for you in our LinkedIn Live “Five social media customer service strategies.”

2. Set up a dream team 

Second, you need a team of social media experts. They act as the voice of the brand and must be comfortable switching between social platforms, adapting to the codes of each. They also need to be good at copywriting and have excellent spelling. Finding the right talent is key because a mistake on public social channels can have hugely negative consequences for your brand. 

Jean-Baptiste Ong stresses the importance of emotional intelligence in this domain: “Conveying empathy and emotion effectively in written form is a critical skill that is often overlooked. This is particularly important in social media, where we don’t have the tonal nuances available in voice communication. Our team is trained not just in technical expertise, but also in the art of digital empathy, making our customer care not just reactive, but proactively engaging.” 

Another important point: The added value of your social media care resides in diversity, complementarity and close collaboration. It’s important to create strong bonds between all types of experts: customer service professionals, social media specialists, but also data analysts, agents, consultants, content creators, etc. 

Of course, the combination varies and evolves over time according to the brand’s requirements and needs. To keep your associates up to speed, don’t hesitate to offer them extensive initial and continuous training. Be sure that your social media associates are perfect ambassadors of your brand on all networks! 

3.Leverage the right tools 

To offer the best possible social media customer service, you need the right technology. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need a lot of new tools, just that you must establish the perfect balance between the existing environment, new features you want to include and new tools and supports you want to create, all the while keeping an eye on costs. 

There’s one thing you can’t go without, though. It’s essential to have a high-performance platform to keep everything streamlined. All the different types of messages will be routed to this platform, an Instagram comment, an X DM, a TikTok comment, a review on Trustpilot… 

Alexis Christoforou feels strongly about leveraging cutting-edge technology: “In today’s competitive landscape, a high-performance platform isn’t just a luxury — it’s a necessity. We’re seeing AI play a crucial role, especially generative models that offer agent assist functionalities. This doesn’t replace human touch but augments it, providing real-time insights and suggestions that enable faster and more accurate responses. It’s about equipping our teams with tools that are as dynamic as the social media landscape itself.” 

Another very important point: You need to make sure to connect the dots, not only between social networks, but also with your other digital and traditional customer service channels. The perfect social media care is one that breaks silos and allows for all customer service teams to collaborate. So make sure you leverage omnichannel tools that allow you a seamless integration of your social media customer service. 

The perfect recipe 

Picture these three steps as the ingredients of the perfect social media care recipe. You prepare the basis — that’s your strategy. You give it the unique twist — that’s your agile team. And you sprinkle it with just the right amount of spice — that’s your technology. Et voilà, you can serve your customers the perfect social media customer care! 

To find out how Foundever can help you set up your perfect social media customer service, read our dedicated page on foundever.com!