A new approach to create a great social UX

Nowadays customers go online in search of information about a company, product or service, to look up reviews and then turn to social media to interact with the company before, during and after purchasing. We love interacting with companies via social media because it’s more personal. But how a company handles its social media approach can greatly influence our perception and therefore our customer experience.

To be able to pinpoint directly where a company can improve, we need to analyse different metrics to know where and how to improve the social user experience. A set of UX guidelines for social media pages would help organizations to be more aware about the users’ needs, wishes and expectations. By knowing its users better, businesses can become more agile, responsive, transparent and authentic and in the long-term can create more dynamic connections with their users.

Of course, there are a lot of social media analytics and tools that can help us in having an overall view on the social media pages of an organization (private company or public institution), but most of them are delivering information on quantitative aspects. The most important thing these analytics and tools are lacking is offering insights into how the social media pages can be improved, and most importantly, how to offer a better user experience for your followers.

My compulsive interest in how organizations interact with their followers via social media has made me determined to find a way to bridge this gap and have a more concise view on how organizations can improve the experience their followers have in terms of customer relationship. I’ve come up with an approach that helps companies identify the roadblocks that may interfere with the overall user experience on their social media pages.

Why we need a new social UX approach

78% of people said that social media posts of companies influence their buying decisions.
— http://www.invespcro.com/blog/social-media-influences-purchase-decisions/
Social media provides consumer insights such as attitude, behaviours, beliefs and needs that can improve personalization as firms try to acquire new customers and build engagement with existing customers.
— The Financial Brand, 2014
Are you missing out on opportunities to increase sales and ROI, or to increase media value, awareness, and virality? You just might be. If you’re running social media for your business, you must listen to your customers and respond quickly in order to be fully effective.
— Search Engine Watch.

Social media in itself is very important for companies and their customers but in order to be fully successful these channels need to be administered correctly. Just like a traditional expert review for a website, our approach proposes reviewing and comparing the social media account against a set of specific criteria and principles to evaluate a certain social media platform.

The benefits of this new social UX approach

We always insist that implementing a UX strategy throughout the company is of great importance because of the different touch points the customer has with all kinds of different departments. UX has a strong positive impact on profit, loyalty and the reduction of costs. It is therefore logical that we also focus on the UX of social media. Therefore the content and the context has to be adapted to the needs of the followers. This will contribute to a better customer experience.

The approach we created has the advantage of helping the organization/companies to have a holistic overview and an overall picture on the aspects that need to be re-worked and improved and the positive things the organization and companies are doing on their social media pages.

This social UX approach has a positive effect on multiple levels:

  • Drives organic growth by boosting customer acquisition and retention and improving the cross-selling.
  • Increased operating efficiency by lowering costs to sell, optimizing marketing spending and marketing effort and better product development.
  • Reduced risk by managing brand reputation and innovating risk management.
  • Increased user satisfaction by enhanced engagement with existing as well as new customers which leads to repeated visits and recommendations.

Is managing the corporate social media channels part of your job? Are you moved by customer satisfaction? Is user experience on social media important for your business/organization? Do you want to create long-term lasting relationships with your customers based on trust and confidence? Then you are ready to take the social UX path!