Forget mailing a letter or making a phone call. Social media is the new platform for customer service. The problem is that consumers using social media expect a quick response and brands, unfortunately, aren't delivering. In fact, 80% of customer service inquiries go unanswered on social media. This is bad!
Responding to your fans is one of the most important things you can do on social media. It shows your listening. When you ignore a customer's question, you risk losing a customer. Even if you're not purposefully ignoring customers (let's be honest, we've all got a lot on our plates), it can still feel that way to them.
There are three different types of engagement that brands receive on social media. At one time or another, you will encounter all three. Granted, some of these are better to receive than others, but they all still deserve a response.
If a customer walked into your place of business and asked a question, you wouldn't ignore them. The same should apply to social media. The important thing with social media is to be quick with your responses.
Compliments are always nice to receive -- especially for brands. They're the best kind of advertising! Don't ignore them. Customers will feel less inclined to offer a good review if it falls on deaf ears every time. A simple 'Like' or 'Favorite' will do the trick.
Complaints are something no one wants to receive, but as a business you're going to get them. It's unavoidable. If you don't already, make sure your business has a plan of how to respond to complaints on social media. Most importantly, never remove a complaint. There are exceptions, such as foul language, but otherwise never take down a public complaint. People will see how you attempted to resolve the situation and they'll be more likely to choose to work with you. Since social media is such a public forum, you may want to just politely acknowledge the complaint and then move the conversation to a more private forum.
Bottom line: If you want your company to stand out, respond to your customers on social media!