The editors of The BrainYard picked companies large and small that are exploring the potential of a unified social business strategy.
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Men's online fashion retailer Bonobos found that using Twitter and Facebook has led to interaction with customers with whom they have never had an email exchange or call. Once they engage on social media, however, they'll not only interact but also bring friends into product discussions.
"Turns out there are a lot of people for whom the bar to engagement is pretty low for social media," sais John Rote, VP of Bonobos customer service. "They're really happy to become excited brand advocates. You just have to meet them on their own terms -- which, for a lot of people, are Twitter and Facebook." People who interact with customer service using Facebook and Twitter also are more open to social promotions and marketing, Bonobos finds. "The more engagement we had from a service point of view, the more participation we had from a promotions and marketing point of view, and it was just this reinforcing kind of cycle where we have people come in and do referrals over social media," Rote said.
Bonobos uses online software from Desk.com (owned by Salesforce.com) to route service inquiries and customer cases to make sure they get addressed by the right people at the company, said Rote. Bonobos also created a Twitter handle for service inquiries: @bonobosninjas.