Social Customer Service Will Rule the 2017 Holiday Season (Report)

The average retailer can expect 30 percent more incoming messages on social media this holiday season.

The holiday marketing campaigns are underway and consumers are gearing up for the height of shopping season. While everyone seems prepared, it’s important to note that consumers have expectations when it comes to social messaging and communication with brands during the holiday season. A fourth-quarter report from Sprout Social provides tips for marketers responding and posting during the holidays.

Social media has a definite impact on gift buying and giving. One-third of all Americans will be influenced by social this year, and 30 percent of survey respondents said they planned to post about gifts they received on social media. What’s more, Sprout Social predicts that the average retailer will receive more than 3,000 social messages during this holiday season–approximately 30 percent more than last year.

According to the report, 56 percent of the messages retailers receive will require action, which is a 15 percent increase compared to last holiday season. Response times and rates on social remain stubbornly low, so now would be a good time to invest resources into social customer-service efforts.

Customer service is important, but it’s not all consumers want from brands. 38 percent want holiday cheer posts from brands, nearly 20 percent want promotional messages, more than 15 percent want news, 12 percent want educational content and the rest want responses to their messages.

Being prepared for any eventuality is key, according to the report:

Without an integrated, cross-channel social strategy in place for the holidays, retailers are in danger of falling behind. Having an open line of communication with your IT team or supply chain might not be applicable to your business. But being prepared for the unexpected through proactive social customer care will enable your brand to meet the needs of its customer and drive business.

For more information, read the full report.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.