mobile platforms, omnichannel

Social media has taken over the digital landscape — and smart brands are learning that its influence extends far beyond a boost in new followers or an uptick in “likes.”

Case in point: Online lingerie retailer Adore Me was amid an expansion, which resulted in a need to scale its customer support. In search of a solution that went beyond outdated, frustrating long calls on hold or lengthy e-mail response wait times, the retailer turned to social media management software platform Sprout Social Inc.

The results — boasting a year-on-year 3,377 percent boost in Facebook click-through rate and a 460 percent annual increase in engagement on Facebook — are no coincidence. Andrew Caravella, Sprout Social’s vice president of strategy and brand engagement, explained that social channels are the preferred method of engagement for today’s customer.

“Customer service has become synonymous with social,” Caravella confirmed. Sprout Social, which promises a better overall social presence for the brands it works with, provides solutions from social media marketing and management to tools specifically related to customer service.

And the emphasis on social media for brands in today’s marketplace, as Caravella described, is critical. According to Caravella, his team has seen a 7 percent decrease in Adore Me’s reply thread size year-over-year — indicating that customers are getting their issues resolved more quickly.

Needless to say, most actions on social media take place in public. The result of this, Caravella explained, is that any sort of concern raised or remark can be amplified in such a way that it can become widespread (a tweet sent out by someone with 5,000 followers is going to have more impact than a private interaction between a consumer and customer service team, for example).

Navigating these types of nuances, he continued, is just one example of why it’s more important than ever for brands and retailers to best leverage their social media opportunities. Understanding what social channels your customers are on is crucial, he added, as is showcasing to those customers that you are a relevant brand by actively participating in today’s modern eco-system.

Sprout Social has boosted Adore Me’s digital presence.  Sprout Social

“We were looking for a solution to help us manage our community and ensure we weren’t missing key questions, suggestions or thoughts from our customer base,” noted Elise Sabak, social media editor at Adore Me. “Sprout Social has allowed us to have visibility on every single message that filters through our top social channels. We never miss a customer question, and are able to better serve current and prospective customers by answering their questions in a timely manner.”

Sabak continued that while social had always been important for the brand, using Sprout Social’s tools to boost their social media presence has allowed Adore Me to build awareness, enhance brand loyalty, and more directly connect with their consumer.

“Our engagement has grown on all channels,” she said. “When comparing a recent week’s engagement to that same week in 2016, we’ve seen an 85 percent growth — that’s certainly thanks to boosting our efforts, really learning, and responding directly to our community.”

Sabak continued that adding social media as a new element to Adore Me’s customer service strategy has enabled the brand to reach — and assist — more customers. “Our response rate is near or at 100 percent on most days, and we’ve sped up our response time. This has helped us create a better relationship with the customer, while providing them with the information they need,” she noted.

Summing up her team’s experience with the platform, Sabak said the outcome has been invaluable. “We’ve learned more about our customers and how to engage best with them. Whether it’s sizing, or styling advice, or order questions, they see us as an accessible team who is there to answer any question or receive any feedback they have to share,” she explained. “When working in a social network’s platform itself, it’s so easy to get buried in messages and miss them, but with Sprout, we’re able to see each and every question, message, hashtag and post.”

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