In addition, "use tools like Google Alerts, Twilert.com, Newsle.com or CTOsOnTheMove.com (shameless plug) to be alerted when your clients get appointed, promoted or quoted in media, so you can congratulate them on their success," says Misha Sobolev, director, CTOsOnTheMove, which provides real-time sales leads to technology companies. "These little acts of kindness will show you are human and that you care--and will cement your business relationship better than a 100-page presentation."
11. Don't feed the trolls. "Trolls lurk in all corners of social media, waiting to stir up trouble with companies," says Alex Bard, senior vice president and general manager at Saleforce.com.
What or who is a troll? "A 'troll' is someone who posts provocative or off-topic messages only to get an emotional response from readers," Bard says. So before responding to an irate tweet or a nasty Facebook comment, "be aware of people's intentions and do not feed the troll by responding to inflammatory statements," he says. "It's important to know the difference between people encouraging controversy [or] just looking to get a reaction out of others" and those who may have a legitimate gripe.
12. Let customers know how and when to reach you."Set customer service expectations by ensuring your brand's social pages display a statement about the page's purpose, including the hours in which the page is actively monitored and a timeframe in which customers can expect a reply," says Jon Schepke, CEO and founder of SIM Partners, a provider of local automated marketing solutions.
"If for some reason a customer is particularly displeased or requires extra assistance, take the conversation offline by providing an email address or phone number they can contact for direct support," Schepke says.
13. Use social profile data to augment contact information. "Social profiles provide rich demographic and psychographic information on your current customers," says Root. "By mining customer data from social profiles your marketing department can identify trends in your current customer base and target the right audience in future campaigns."
14. Unify and centralize your customer-related communications. "Conversations with your business prospects and existing customers happen everywhere including email, Twitter, Facebook and even your help desk ticketing system," says Root.
"Problems surface when communication is inconsistent across those lines. For example, when sales doesn't know a customer had a bad experience in response to a help desk issue, or when a customer doesn't get a reply back on Twitter," Root says.
"Having one portal where communication with your customers or prospects is available to everyone paints a comprehensive picture and allows problems to be solved quickly and lets your customer know that every department in your business is in tune.," Root says.
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