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Why your business needs a social media response team

Picture this, you’re happily working on a social media content calendar when… DING. It’s a Twitter notification. One of your customers is asking a super-specific question about the product that you can’t answer.

Now you’ve got to swallow your pride and admit you indeed DON’T know everything about the business to answer this question. You’ve got to enlist help. You’ve got to assemble a team.

You need a social media response team!

The social media strategist’s challenge

Social media is a function that touches every aspect of the business from product to human resources. However, it’s usually only one person or a small group of people who help run it and look after its customer service aspect. It’s time to put that theory to rest and make social media a collaborative effort.

How PaperCut manages technical queries from social media

Here at PaperCut, we created the social response team in 2019. It was created to save time and get the most accurate answers for our customers and channel. In the past, Mikaela (hey that’s me!) the Social Media Strategist would spend half an hour following up each question, trying to find the right person in the business to answer it. From slacking multiple people to frantically tapping someone on the shoulder at their desk, it was exhausting. It turned into quite an effort that took away from executing my campaigns.

In comes our solution, creating a social response team! The team is structured to include at least one person from each part of the business. We have key players, such as our support star Josh B who looks after our SpiceWorks thread, and optional people such as Jess G who pops in when there are sales-related questions.

What started as a team of 6 who met fortnightly has expanded to include 50 PaperCutters in our dedicated slack channel! We of course still have our 6 key members such as Tim B from Product Optimisation and our Global Communication Lead PaperCutter Al. However, this breadth of PaperCutters means that we’ve got them popping into the slack channel to answer anything they specialise in. That’s a lot of brainy people making sure our customers and channel get the most accurate information!

How the social response team works

You’re probably wondering how the nitty gritty works. A big part of it working smoothly is our slack channel. I’m typically the one to find the questions sourced from our media monitoring tool Mention, however anyone is encouraged to post a question when they come across one.

Here’s the format we use:

Who’s needed: (A specific person or team)

Reply needed by (hrs): (Keeping us accountable and timely)

Private or Public: (Determines if we can ask for identifying information to help with their question: i.e what’s your organisation?)

Platform: (Where the question was posed)

Link: (For more information and where to reply)

From there, threads are created to keep track of each question. Replies can be easy like linking a Knowledge Base article to a common question or very nitty gritty like a specific technical question that we need to replicate in support to help them.

Don’t forget your actual support team though

One thing we flagged when making this group was that we didn’t want people to see our social media platforms as our official tech support. We have a whole other awesome team dedicated to providing support… the support team! So for difficult technical problems, we like to direct them to for a detailed response. However social media is increasingly becoming an avenue for people to quickly reach companies. It’s imperative we don’t direct every question to our support team, but take the time to answer if we have the means.

We also have a fortnightly meeting to check-in and discuss any hard questions that have come in lately. When it’s a quiet week, sometimes we just discuss social media trends! It’s important to engage and show appreciation for your fellow members, acknowledging that this is an add-on to their current full time role. If a member has conflicting commitments that come before the social response team, it’s recommended to consult the rest of the team to see if someone else can step in to help in the meantime. You don’t want the team burning out!

So the next time you hear the DING, don’t despair. Assemble your avengers social response team to get to the heart of your customer’s concerns quick smart.


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