Social media.....what exactly is it?
Obviously it's a form of media, but what does the social imply? Well, for one we can look at Merriam-Webster's definition of the word “social” to find:
If you notice, all of these definitions relate to interaction between people or groups of people. There is also the overriding notion of the interaction or companionship being for the welfare of human beings. Whether through shared ideas, or contributing to the advancement of society through discourse.
How does all of that transfer to the local business on main street of Anywhere, USA? The idea of a pleasurable experience. The exchange of ideas and goods through a new medium. It's important that all parties involved need to feel that they are truly benefiting from the experience, that supply and demand are being satisfied, and expedited through this social media. Customer service is no different online, that it is in person. Actually, you might need to put more into keeping both parties satisfied online than in person since there is a lack of face-to-face interaction.
When working with customers online, it is important to make sure that you listen to your customer. Finding out what they need is the most important way you can be their ally, their companion. From there you follow them, and help them achieve their goal. You be the definition of social.