MarketingProfs B2B Forum 2023

Conversations That Connect Connect, Converse, & Convert Through Social Media & Customer Care with Brooke Sellas

Social media is a 24/7 game.

And more and more, buyers are using social media as a support channel.

Yet, most companies play this game like it’s a 9-to-5.

Which means that customers are coming to your social channels, looking for support… and for most of the week, no one is answering their questions.

This lack of customer care is eroding trust in your brand, argues Brooke Sellas in her presentation from B2B Forum 2023.

Check out Brooke’s ideas on your Social Media Customer Care in the video or transcript below.

And for more ideas on improving your customer experience with better marketing, join us at B2B Forum in Boston this Nov 12-14. With more than 40 sessions on all things B2B marketing, it’s the most actionable B2B marketing conference on the planet. Tickets are available now.


You essentially now have this very difficult task in front of you, which is creating human experiences on digital channels.

And that sounds hard.

But I promise you it’s really easy, and I’m going to teach you how.

So, next C: Customer care.

Customer care is really just focusing on that digital customer journey. We’re talking digital because we’re talking social, but it’s just knowing where the customer is, knowing those emotions and knowing how to talk to them at each of those touchpoint where they come into interact with your brand.

So what is social media customer care?

Well, it’s a little deceiving because when I ask this question, a lot of people say it’s taking care of your customers through social media.

And you’d be right, but it’s also talking to potential customers. And we’ll get into this more too. 

But essentially you’re not only helping those customers who have those requests or those complaints. But you’re also answering people who are in that research moment, right? 

They’re researching brands, they’re asking questions.

And guess what?

When they come ask that question to your brand on a social channel, they’re probably asking another brand that they’re considering through that research.

And the fastest brand to get there is usually the brand that wins!

Essentially, social media customer care—and why I love it so much—it’s one of the only marketing initiatives that both attracts and retains customers.

Very few things can do both of those and do both of them really well.

And we’re going to get into how that happens too.

So over the past few years, what we’ve started to see through our research is that people are using social media more and more as a support channel.

So you can see here on Facebook, 69% of people want to go and get support from a brand through Messenger. Only 31% look elsewhere.

And then on Twitter… I’m still calling it Twitter, y’all. I can’t with the whole X thing. It’s a tweet, it’s Twitter, the end. Alright?

So even on Twitter, 64% of people want to talk to a brand there. And only 36% want to go elsewhere.

We’re seeing these numbers rise year over year. More and more people are using social media as a support channel.

However, only 24% of companies and brands are happy with their social media customer service.

You’re starting to see the disconnect, right?

So how do we fix that?

Well, you’ve got to understand how important brand conversations are.

So it says customer care in the middle of this flywheel, but ultimately it could be really just brand conversations.

Those brand conversations attract your potential buyers. They engage with those prospects during that research. Hopefully, they close those deals through social, they become customers.

And then if you can get to that community part, you might get to advocates and influencers for your brand and not influencers like Kim K, right? 

I’m talking, like, real influencers who are attainable, affordable, and actually are in front of more of people who want to buy from a brand like yours than maybe Kim Kardashians following fans. 

So again, I’m not going to read this slide to you, but responding is no longer an option. 

Responding quickly. You have to be fast.

And I know this is kind of the rub with social media customer care, but there’s a lot of things you can do here, which we’ll discuss.

Like maybe your employees or your social team only works Monday through Friday, nine to five. Couldn’t you set up one of those bots during non-office hours to answer those frequently asked questions?

And if it’s a difficult question, make sure in that bot’s menu you have, “I want to speak to a human.”

And have fun with it. Like, “Hey, I’m Mr. Bot. Our humans are sleeping right now, but they’ll be back in the office tomorrow by 9:00 am. Do you want me to transfer your email or telephone number to the next available person?”

Yes. Okay, then that can send an email to that person.

And then, remember the whole brand promise thing: you have to follow up in the timeframe that you said that you would.

 The other bad part—bad news first…

Social media customer care is always on, right? Social lives 24/7. And you cannot be a brand today that only works nine to five.

So I’m not telling you that you have to figure out how to staff people seven days a week, 365 days a year.

But what I am telling you is you have to find out how you can best support making that happen. Is it through a bot? Is it outsourcing? What does that look like? And we’ll go over some of that again today.

And here’s the bad part.

Brand response rates, all of these support rates, are going up.

Brand response rates are going down.

So again, there’s a disconnect.

You’re starting to understand why 60% of people don’t trust brands, because brands don’t say what they do or promise. They don’t make that promise. They don’t meet people on their channel of choice.

They have all this social media coming out. They’re on these channels. And then they reach out to you for a question.

Crickets. Not good.

So: connection. Connection is a funny word in marketing because in my opinion, personally, connection is a two-way street.

Brands, though, count connection as a social media follow, or a subscription, or a form fill.

That is not connection, okay?

Connection really is… go look it up. If you don’t believe me, go look it up.

And connection has a two-way… it’s reciprocity, right?

It goes back and forth.

So that social media follow, those vanity metrics, all those lead-gen blah blah blah…


That’s not connection. Connection comes in the brand conversations.

Published 02/14/24

B2B Forum is packed with marketing insights, strategies, and tactics taken from the real world experience of over forty industry experts, packaged into context you can actually put to use.

Join us in Boston for B2B Forum 2024 this coming November 12-14, 2024. Early buyers get B2B Forum tickets at their lowest rate, and discounted hotel rooms are available while they last.


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