Social Media EngagementThis Sunday, the Super Bowl will be watched by over 100 million viewers in the U.S., seen in 198 countries, in more than 25 languages. But, as hundreds of millions of people will be watching the game on their TVs, there will be just as many with their eyes fixated on their mobile devices – all engaging on social media.

For companies taking advantage of marketing opportunities at the Super Bowl, most will set up social media command centers to post, monitor, and respond to the conversations happening about the game, including the big plays, the halftime show, what people are eating and drinking, and of course, the commercials. All in an attempt to capture that moment when a social media conversation happens and to participate in it. In the case of the Super Bowl, these conversations can include millions of people.

Who’s Calling The Game Plan?

In a recent blog we asked, “Who owns social media within organizations?” Based on research from Execs in the Know published in the recent Genesys eBook, Best Practices for Social Customer Service, the top two organizations responsible for social media are marketing (42%) and customer care/service (36%). While marketing has enjoyed a solid foothold on social media for awareness and demand generation, obtaining customer service has quickly grown as to be a primary use case for customers on social networks. Like in football, Social Media is a team sport.

Marketing: Adapt to Every Situation

Over the past few years, brands with Super Bowl ads running have set up social media command centers staffed by agency, public relations, and in-house marketing folks looking to capitalize on a live event engagement with their social media posts. The crowning example of social marketing success is what is referred to now as an “Oreo moment.” During the 2013 Super Bowl, you may recall that the power in the Indianapolis Stadium went out for more than 20 minutes. Oreo, a Nabisco division of Mondelēz International, was in their command center ready to respond, quickly posting the following: You can still dunk in the dark. They utilized the event hashtag, promoted the post, and saw a huge return: 15,000 retweets, 8,000 new followers on Twitter, 20,000 likes on Facebook, 10X growth in their Instagram following, and increased responses to their Super Bowl contest.

So, what was the secret to Oreo’s social media marketing success? The answer lies in the combination of social listening and quick response. Not surprisingly, these same success tactics can benefit social interactions for customer service.

Customer Service: Respond to Every Play

We all know that not responding to social media inquiries from customer in a timely manner can ruin the customer experience and hurt your brand. This is especially true during live events. Remember that during a live event, if a customer utilizes the event’s trending hashtags, a seemingly isolated message can be seen by millions. During the Super Bowl especially, utilities and telecommunications are the most likely to see a spike in social posts if there is any disruption of service. Even if there is a power outage and land line phones go down in the middle of the game, customers will still be able voice complaints on Twitter and Facebook via their mobile devices.

Another story from last year’s Super Bowl involved Time Warner Cable in southern California, which experienced a disruption in service to a select area during the game. While many subscribers waited on hold for the contact center for help, those who wanted to be heard immediately took to social media to complain about the outage, using the trending event hashtag and creating their own as well. Time Warner monitored the posts and quickly responded, apologizing for the disruption, offering updates on the technical issue, and supplying coupons to those effected by the outage. Ignoring these messages or delaying the response time could have amplified the negative impact.

When it comes to the Super Bowl – and social media – response time is always the critical factor. Not responding to social media interactions is not an option. In a recent survey we found that customers don’t always expect an immediate response, but they do want a response, typically within the day – take a look at the numbers below:

Genesys Social Media Customer Service Best Practices

Not only is listening and responding to customer service issues on social media good customer experience, but its good business too. According to McKinsey & Company, on average, handling an inbound call typically costs a company $6-8, while a handling a social media interaction usually costs less than $1.

Social Media: Working Together Wins the Game

The bottom line is that customers don’t differentiate which department sends or responds to their post, they see a single response from your brand regardless of channel, which ultimately impacts their loyalty. Whether it’s a marketing coupon question or complaint about their bill, it’s time for customer service to be integrated into your company’s social media game plan. By blending social media with other more traditional contact center channels like voice, companies not only gain the ability to listen to brand sentiment, but they can prioritize these interactions to determine the appropriate actions across marketing, customer service, and various other customer touchpoints to deliver a truly satisfying customer experience.

Brands of all sizes and industries will be looking to take advantage of the Super Bowl’s global audience this Sunday. Whether it is to advertise a product, engage in witty banter, or respond to customer service issues, this audience of millions will be heard… and your organizations should be listening.

Learn more about social media engagement int your contact center in our new eBook, Best Practices for Social Customer Service.

Go Patriots!

Rachael Royds

As Director of Social Media Marketing at Genesys, Rachael leads the Genesys social media strategy globally for marketing, corporate communications, and employee advocacy. Rachael brings over 10 years of experience in B2B, B2C, and non-profit marketing. She previously held marketing...