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Social Media

Written by Tessa Bicard

On average, people spend 1.72 hours per day on social platforms, which represents about 28 percent of all online activity. This affords your marketing team the opportunity to create more intimate conversations with your current members, and to attract new ones. But, this also applies some pressure to deliver outstanding customer service, and at all times of the day.

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We know it all too well; social media has become a platform for consumers to like products, write reviews and share both positive and negative feedback about your health club. The benefit of social media is that you can connect with your members and clients, answer their questions or hear concerns in real time.

Successful businesses are built on delivering exceptional customer service. Think of social media as an extension of the customer service you provide on the gym floor every day to members and prospects; the big difference is that it’s virtual and therefore always ‘on.’ Today we’re sharing our best online customer service practices, and what we consider the three most important fundamentals of social engagement: listen, respond and have a game plan.

Listen

While you may not always like what you hear, listening to what is being said about your health club on social media is critical. When done effectively, social media can help you find new members, resolve any potential problems quickly,  improve your services and provide valuable content your target audience will love.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you monitor your social media activity:

  • Mentions of your company name, website or blog
  • Customer tweets and hashtags - what are your members talking about or interested in?
  • Reviews of your competitors

Respond

When someone takes the time to comment on Facebook, write a review on Yelp, or send you a direct message on Twitter, they are expecting a response. You want to keep your audience engaged by responding in a timely manner. Your response doesn’t have to be long, but it’s important to take the time to thank them for sharing your content, or by liking their comment.

Social media conversations move quickly, particularly if the engagement is negative. Jumping in to address concerns is a must, and by doing so, you can demonstrate to others that you take all feedback seriously.

Here are some additional tips to consider before engaging with customers on social media:

  • Response time is key. Don’t wait too long to engage!  
  • Negative comments are a great way to show your customer service skills by responding in a thoughtful, positive way. However, work with your team to develop response guidelines and know when to hide or block nasty comments from Internet trolls that aren’t moving the conversation forward.
  • Take the time to respond and engage with positive comments. If people are taking the time to give you a shout-out, make sure to acknowledge them with a response.
  • If a conversation is escalating despite your best attempts to address concerns, know when to take it offline. Provide an email address or a phone number where they can follow-up.
  • Check out this guide from HootSuite for more info on handling negative feedback

Have a Game Plan

It’s so, so important to have a game plan in place when it comes to using social media. Looking for an easy step-by-step checklist? Hubspot has a daily social media game plan that we love. We would encourage you to check out their list, and keep the following tips in mind when implementing your game plan:

  • Be upfront on how often accounts are monitored, and how quickly your members can expect a response.
  • Internally train your team on the tone and process for dealing with member questions or complaints.
  • Determine how your accounts will be monitored.  
  • Create an email address such as social@yourcompany.com to help streamline questions from social media. Multiple people on your team can monitor this email address.

Here’s the good news: you don’t have to spend countless hours monitoring social media every day. While important, we recognize that social media is just one of many tasks your marketing team has on their plate. Remember the daily social media game plan we mentioned earlier? This plan was designed to help you effectively monitor your accounts in just twenty minutes a day. Now that’s manageable!

Looking for a platform to help you manage all of your social accounts? Social Inbox makes monitoring your accounts easy peasy. With this tool, you can use one platform to identify content that resonates with your audience, respond to conversations and gather information about new followers or people talking about your health club.

As you engage on social media, just remember the goal is to provide value, create interactive content and use an authentic voice. Coupled with our tips, we think you’ll successfully navigate social platforms and ultimately use them to your benefit!

Now tell us, how much time does your team spend monitoring online activity? We would love to hear from you, so please share!

Tessa is an Inbound Marketing Consultant at WindFarm Marketing. She has more than 7 years experience in digital marketing, including in-house and agency work. She specializes in the fitness and travel verticals, with an emphasis on Business to Consumer clients. She has a Masters in Business Communications and holds many digital marketing certifications. When she’s not scribbling strategy notes in her journal, she’s probably posting travel photos on Instagram, speaking French with her husband, or analyzing wine at a vineyard barrel tasting.
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