Reasons why Instagram should be on the radar of all customer service teams and strategies.
In January of this year, Instagram celebrated its 10th birthday and has amassed over 1 billion active users, positioning itself as a defining influencer tool and useful for visibility engagement.
The opportunity to converse and convert customers through the platform has increased and become a powerful marketing tool. Targeting customers with influential personalities as content creators merits a wealth of followers and stronger links to the brand they promote.
Much like WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter, Instagram is becoming a new tool for brand communication in the eyes of consumers. Consumers regularly use it as a way to express their views on brands and communicate with them, favoring its immediacy as they do with other digital channels over traditional methods such as the telephone, or even the brand website.
Evaluating the customer experience strategy
In 2018, Instagram shopping was introduced and revolutionized the way brands use social networking, permitting them to sell directly to their customers on the platform. This sales channel is essential, especially for targeting millennials, who are adept at online shopping and the use of social networks. Instagram is now a commercial platform in the same way as any e-commerce site, with 90% of Instagram users following at least one brand.
It vital for brands to rethink their customer relationship strategy and integrate Instagram into their customer relationship and service channels. The showcase approach simply does not work any more – like all social media – Instagram is a conversation. When users posts about a brand, or comments on content, that brand must be able to respond in a meaningful way, not only ignore, or worse still, not even know it has happened! Also, if interactions with users are currently less developed on Instagram than on other channels, users engage quickly and demand brands to do the same.
A recent ‘Customer Contact Radar’ survey said 13% of consumers contact brands through Instagram. The growth of user exchanges on the Instagram Direct messaging service shows it is conceivable that this channel will be increasingly adopted to contact companies. Development of Messenger for Business and WhatsApp Business Solution to facilitate the use of messaging in customer relations by Facebook – which also owns Instagram – means they could adopt the same approach.
A significant time to use the platform
Brands should not wait for the appearance of Instagram Direct as your followers will already be interacting with you on the platform. A brand’s inability to converse with its customers on Instagram will show a lack of innovation and may push customers to competitors.
Customer relations, social media, and marketing teams should work to centralize Instagram comment management alongside other digital channels such as Twitter and Facebook. This will allow them to be more responsive, consistent in terms of how queries are handled and the messaging used. A significant benefit of this approach is getting a centralized understanding of sentiment towards the brand. Insights into whether there are recurring problems with a product, service, or store that needs to be addressed, such as goods damaged on delivery.
It is likely that digital channels are fast becoming the preferred way for users to champion, complain, and communicate with the brands they care about. Instagram has become increasingly important, but it is just the latest in a long line of developments in this field. Customers are deciding how they want to communicate with brands, and it is the brands that respond to that demand that win loyalty and customer satisfaction over their competitors.
Portions of this article were originally published here.