Social Media and Customer Service: Related Skills

So what’s the difference between social media marketing and customer service? Surely the two share some intersection in the Venn diagram of your overall marketing plan. With small business, at least, your social media presence may be the first point of contact for existing customers that have inquiries and issues to be resolved; it’s much easier to get on a computer and type out your grievances than to call in and have to deal with automated messaging systems or highly scripted representatives. With mobile devices, it has also become more convenient and discreet, especially during work hours. That said, here are a few things to remember:

1. Courtesy – Tone is notoriously difficult to discern in text form, and it can become especially confusing on social media sites. Each social has an underlying expectation of decorum, one with which you must become familiar. Facebook interactions tend to be much more informal. While it may be tempting to emulate that informality in your interactions with customers, you must always remember to show courtesy and respect. They are speaking for themselves, and you speak for your company, which means you have more at stake in potentially volatile situations.

2. A Great Interaction is Worth a Thousand Likes – You shouldn’t be focusing on the number of likes and shares so much anyway; the name of the game is engagement. Positive engagement. If someone compliments you, your product, or your business, follow up! It’s important to get a good dialogue going while welcoming newcomers on your page to join in. And not just a “thank you”, and definitely don’t ask them to share. Ask them questions to get more specific answers on what they liked and why they liked it. Not only will you be able to show off your charming personality as a social media marketer, you will broadcast your expertise and authority over your product, service, or subject matter. Be reliable, always.

3. Treat Every Post Like a Tattoo – Sure, you can delete it, but you’ll want most, if not all of your content to be permanent residents on your social media accounts. Edits can be made, but that’s only effective before someone points out a mistake. Even if that happens, be sure to thank them for their input and confirm that the proper changes have been made. Deleting the comment will only make you look childish. The only exception is if their language is deemed unacceptable.

4. Give Credit Where Credit is Due – If someone compliments your customer service department on your social media accounts, make sure you let your CS Department know about it. Everyone loves it when their work is appreciated, and this is no exception. Take a screen shot, send it to a specific employee if their name was dropped, or send it to the whole department with a nice and encouraging note. That’ll put a smile on their faces, and smiles transfer directly to their voices.

To Survive in Social Media, Learn New Skills!

So you’re good at social media. No, let’s take this a step further and say you’re great at social media. It’s your job, your career, your passion, and your life. You’re on top of your game, reading and studying the newest trends and tools to help you excel in your industry, you learn from your colleagues, and you’re always looking to learn more about what the future holds for this growing online business world. But it’s not enough. Pure social media expertise is wonderful, but it’s no longer just about being the best at engaging followers and analyzing the statistics to formulate new marketing strategies; you need to be creative!

For you to survive in the social media industry, you need to wear many hats and take on multiple roles. Not only will this make you a more appealing candidate, but it will take the monotony out of your daily responsibilities. Let’s face it, if you don’t have multiple accounts on which to work, you’re probably not going to be able to fill your day with work and end up bored and going on Reddit to pass the time. Then there are slow days where you’re just not getting the activity you want, which leaves you in an anxious mindset where you think you’re doing something wrong. No, the slow days are a part of the game, and these are the days where your other skills will make you shine as a valuable asset to any company. Let’s discuss a few of the things you can improve on (if you haven’t already).


You need to know how to write well. Social media’s all about communication, so if you cannot string together a complex concept in 140 characters or fewer, you need to brush up on your writing skills. Become an expert in whatever you’re marketing and learn to write and communicate as though you are the CEO of the company. Learn to write with a passionate voice. Look at how others in your industry communicate with words and emulate their language and word choice. Write about why people should care rather than what they should care about.


The most popular posts in social media include images. More importantly, they include original content. Many social media marketers have the benefit of a photography and graphics team to help them out with post content, but for those who don’t have the luxury of a separate department at their disposal, you need to learn how to use Photoshop to the extent of basic color manipulation and retouching. This will stretch your imagination and allow you to come up with concepts for larger projects later on (even if they are produced by a third-party). You’ll want to be at the forefront of content production at all times, not just the person who pushes a button and posts something from time to time.


Not everything you post will look the way you want it to, be it an error on your part or not. Being able to resolve simple HTML issues is an invaluable skill for every social media marketer, especially if you’re dealing with a CMS. The less time you take away from other departments, the more efficiently the company will run as a whole. Your job is on the web, and the be able to read and manipulate the web at its most basic level will make your life that much simpler.