Add Some LOL to Your Social Customer Care

Every social media manager knows that feeling when it seems the best solution to a customer complaint is to take a coffee break and forget about the issue. Unfortunately for those who prefer to keep their jobs, this is not an option. Many brands are still not exactly sure how to train their staff to handle crises, and so a new fad has emerged in social customer care: humor.

For the brands that actually do have a crisis-aversion plan, humor can be an asset. For the rest, it’s a risk that toes the line between witty and distasteful. In the examples below you can see how some clever social media managers defused a high-pressure conversation with a quick sweep of humor.

Domino’s Pizza delivers for a pop-star in distress


Tesco Mobile gives relationship advice to Jay


Pizza Hut and Domino’s Pizza duke it out over Phil


Not sure if being funny is for your brand? Think back to the guidelines of Socially Devoted:

1.) Create an open line of communication with fans

The whole point of having a social presence is to communicate. If your content evokes some affinity (aka entertaining, up to date, etc.) from your followers, they are more likely to engage by commenting, liking, and sharing. People enjoy not just efficient customer service, but something with a bit more oompf. If your brand’s voice allows for a little fun, why not have some?

2.) Respond to questions more than 65% of the time

Nobody likes being ignored. If you’re losing too much time trying to be funny with every single query that comes to you, you’re sliding right off the Socially Devoted charts. The amount of questions received is constantly increasing, and more demand from users places a premium on your team’s ability to reply to as many questions from your community as possible. If being funny is getting in the way, consider cutting down on the jokes and amping up on the support responders.

Is your brand Socially Devoted? Check here in our Socially Devoted app.

3.) Respond in a timely fashion

Just like in standup comedy, if you lose your rhythm you lose your audience. If you’re going to have some fun with your social customer care, make sure to stay consistent. A joke just isn’t funny after 8 hours of no response. In fact, after that much time your client is likely to build up an anxiety about your brand that you surely do not need. In recent articles we’ve pointed out the skyrocketing need for faster response time in social customer care. If you’re still taking 24 hours to respond to a question, you’re behind. See more here.

If you’re able to keep up with these guidelines AND stay tastefully humorous, then by all means go ahead. Just don’t forget to make sure your social media experts are up to date with what’s current in the news and pop culture. You wouldn’t want to stumble into anything catastrophic like the Kenneth Cole #Cairo hashtag.

This story first ran on


Socially Devoted Preview: Top 10 Airlines on Twitter

Among some early returns from our Socially Devoted initiative for Q1 2014 is the information on which Airline brands have the best difference between Answered and Unanswered Questions on Twitter.

In this Twitter-specific category American Airlines leads the way with over 9,000 questions answered. Interestingly, US Airways comes in at fourth, proving that despite their major social media miscue on April 14th, they are generally very responsive on social media and can be counted on for consistent social support. The general trend common to these 10 airlines is that they are answering more questions than the top 10 airlines did last quarter, which we applaud!

For the rest of our Socially Devoted findings, keep posted to this blog.

Written by Phillip Ross, Social Media Analyst. SocialBakers is where this story originally appeared.

Photos Are Still King on Facebook


Most of the content brands post to Facebook includes photos – 75% of all content in a one-month period, to be exact. We examined a large collection of Facebook posts made by over 30,000 brands in order to find which type of post scored the best engagement. There were clear differences between top performers and the rest of the pack.

A little while back, we previewed our upcoming conference, Engage London 2014, by sharing some data on different post types and the absolute interactions they receive. Let’s dive into it a bit deeper now.

Post Types

Again, three-fourths of all posts by the brands we monitored included photos.

Average Interactions for all Posts

By examining the average number of interactions that the different post types received, photos’ dominance becomes even clearer. Firstly, it is essential to segment the monitored pages according to page size. Much larger pages have a wider reach (and often, higher budgets), so it logically follows that each post type would increase its average number of interactions as the size of the pages increase. Photos garner the highest average number of interactions per post for all three page sizes, but it is not until the largest group of pages (1,000,000+) that the difference becomes extreme.

The Top Tier

Looking at interactions among the top 10% of all monitored content, we can see that videos and albums have the same percent share (4% for both) of total interactions as they do overall share of published content. Links and statuses lose some of that overall share of engagement when we look solely at the top 10%.

Conversely, photos increase their share.

Despite all this, our data does not necessarily imply that a photo post will automatically be among the most engaging on Facebook. It simply reveals a common trait that the best posts feature more frequently than do ordinary posts. In order to take advantage of insights like these, you need to know more than just one metric – you need to know all of them.

Written by Phillip Ross, Social Media Analyst. Socialbakers is where the version of this excerpt originally appeared.


Hashtags Increasingly Popular on Facebook


After searching through another round of hashtag data, Socialbakers has found that posting with hashtags on Facebook has become an increasingly popular thing to do. Meanwhile, tweets use hashtags about as often as they did this time last year, and Instagram is the only network where a significant percentage of posts use more than 2 hashtags.

Hashtags become more popular on Facebook, data shows

At Socialbakers, we’ve always been curious about hashtags. They make content easy to find, join larger conversations, and allow for audience participation. They’re the interactive tagline, except in the world of social communication you can find out whenever someone makes a joke that ends in “Where’s the beef?” After hearing feedback from our earlier hashtag articles, we wanted to see how we could clarify the topic some.

By examining 12,509 Facebook profiles and 865 Twitter profiles in February 2013 and February 2014, we found that brands on Facebook have expanded their use of hashtags exponentially. Brands’ Twitter profiles, however, are using hashtags at about the same rate they did last year.

This reveals several probable conclusions. First of all, Twitter marketers have had more experience using hashtags on that platform. That there haven’t been major changes in the numbers like on Facebook means that brands on Twitter have figured out the best way to use hashtags over time, and on Twitter’s end, that this aspect of their service is, for now, static.

Facebook Posts

On Facebook though, the difference is stark. There was a 525% increase in the share of all posts to include hashtagged content.
Facebook only integrated hashtags shortly before our first data sampling was collected, so this illustrates how much the concept has caught on. Keep in mind, though, that this refers to relative numbers – shares of a total number of posts, independent of the number of brands sampled – so the number of hashtagged posts on Twitter could still outstrip the number of hashtagged posts on Facebook.

This means that a concept developed by Twitter, specifically made for a micro-blogging platform reliant on content more so than networking, has been imported with immense success by its rival platform, which is more about networking than content. It is interesting to note that some habits traveled with the hashtag in the move, namely that the number of hashtags per post has held somewhat constant between the two networks.

How many Hashtags?

In previous posts, we made some claims that argued for, let’s call it, ‘hashtagging in moderation,’ both generally and for specific networks. This originally referred to Instagram, which our new data has offered another light on. Instagram, it turns out, is the only one of the three networks with a diverse spread of numbers of hashtags per post.


A thin majority of hashtagged posts use only 1–2 tags, and 10% use 10 or more. This strongly contrasts with Twitter and Facebook’s pat­terns. This is likely due in part to the difference between the networks’ posting formats.

TwitterFacebookTwitter’s numbers make the most sense – when you only get 140 characters to play with, every one is at a premium. Having more than 2 hashtags means less space in your tweet for content, @ tags, and links.

But on Facebook, the number of hashtags used per hashtagged post doesn’t quite fit with that logic, since the posting limit is longer than Twitter’s.

Interactions per Hashtag on Instagram and Twitter

While all of this information is good to know, and shows just how far Facebook users have come in integrating the hashtag into that network, it doesn’t say anything about how effective this increase has been.

To try and answer that question, we also gathered data about the number of interactions all the posts issued by these brands gathered during February 2014. Our data showed that on Instagram, posts with 1–2 hashtags received the most interactions, and posts with no hashtags received the next most. On Twitter, posts with 3–4 hashtags received the most interactions, followed by posts with 1–2 hashtags, and none, respectively. But just like we cautioned in our first Instagram report, when posts with no hashtags seemed to perform better than posts with 10 or more, these numbers do not necessarily mean that hashtags decrease engagement over time. Some reasons for this discrepancy are:

  • Post Quality: Some posts are just better made than others.
  • Posting Time: A hashtagged post released at the worst time will likely do worse than a non-hashtagged post released at the best time.
  • Post Type: Image and Video posts tend to get more interactions than text-only posts, hashtags or otherwise.
  • Poster’s History: Maybe the poster needs to drastically raise their Engagement Rate, and so is going on a ‘hail mary’ hashtag frenzy.

You get the point. Based on all we know, hashtags are not only becoming more popular with brand pages on Facebook, and remaining popular on Twitter – there’s probably a good reason why.

About the author

Phillip Ross, Social Media Analyst. where a version of this excerpt originally appeared. 

Why Brands Need to Monitor Social Media 24/7


For brands, a social media presence is a necessity these days. From providing services to selling merchandise to connecting customers across platforms, social media has become an indispensable part of the modern business landscape. For customers, this also means that brands seem available to answer urgent demands or questions at all times.

In dealing with a never-ending stream of incoming messages from social feeds across various platforms, a social manager has to ask, “At what point in the day can I log off? Can we afford to have a customer care team that ever goes offline?”

The easy answer is, “no.” But realistically, limited resources make things less simple than that. Here are three factors to weigh when thinking about handling a 24/7 social media feed:

1. The Customer

Businesses dealing with the general public get customer inquiries at all hours, including outside of the traditional working day. Whenever the customer chooses to interact, that time becomes a working hour; the community manager needs someone to be there with them. If a business operates internationally? Forget about “normal business hours” – it’s always 9 to 5 somewhere.

The chart below illustrates the average activity of social media users for each day of the week and time of day. Notice the importance of evenings.

Not sure who, and where, your clients are, or why they keep bombarding you with questions at 4 in the morning? Then it’s time to get your social media team an analytics tool, and a publishing tool to deal with that bombardment.

2. The Purpose

Effective social media strategies are based in setting goals and defining why you operate on a certain network – the days of checking the box for simply “being on Twitter” are gone. In their stead is a future defined by deep, metrics-based campaign and support management.

From sales to support, the volume of incoming queries can become overwhelming. Creating separate accounts for “support” and “company news” is one viable, oft-practiced solution. This is a good way to easily filter out customer needs and requests from other, less timely matters.

Whatever the end game, it is crucial to have someone available to answer questions or comments, particularly after new content goes live.

3. 99 Problems, but No Idea of the Scale

Nobody likes a hater. Unluckily for social media managers, cyberspace is full of them. High-stress or otherwise complicated market segments like airline tickets or mobile service tend to exacerbate the chances of “social suicide” – that moment when the “post” button becomes the enemy. Monitoring the feed at all times gives your company the time to craft an appropriate, yet still timely response. Unmonitored feeds present dual risk – not only can crises go unnoticed for too long, but little problems can grow into serious ones. If no one is watching , then no one can be wise to the lurking social risks.

Unfortunately, many brands have not yet learned that lesson. Our data on average Question Response Times (QRT) suggests that users are often forced to wait nearly twice as long for responses during evenings and weekends as they do during normal working hours – from an average of four hours to about seven.


The Internet never sleeps. Logging off, shutting down, and unplugging can leave global brands blind to the needs of customers and prospects outside of their own region, or night owls nearby. The most urgent messages may be those left sitting in a closed inbox.

For the sake of both managing risk and impressing prospective and current customers, brands must monitor social feeds all day, every day. It can be done! At our upcoming Engage London 2014 conference, KLM’s Social Media Hub Manager Robertjan Groeneveld will be speaking about how and why his company manages to always be there for customers. If you still think your brand can get away with providing social customer care only when it seems convenient, his talk will be enlightening – and maybe a bit scary.

This post was originally appeared on via @socialbakers

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