Social Customer Service Metrics: 3 Case Studies

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How has marketing changed thanks to social media? Well, now 90% of customers are influenced by online reviews. Some companies cringe when they hear this: The decision whether to buy can come down to a good or bad Yelp review. And we all know some customers can be finicky, their opinions arbitrary and skewed. But some can be incredibly on point.   

Since so many people are influenced by consumer reviews, customer service is a new form of marketing. Customer satisfaction turns into word of mouth, word of mouth converts the potential customer.

Word of mouth/peer-to-peer marketing isn’t just happening via review platforms. It’s happening constantly on channels such as Facebook and Twitter, to name the major players. For that reason, social media listening, or monitoring, helps marketers and business owners understand more about the following:

  •         How people are talking about a brand – positive/negative sentiment
  •         Likes, dislikes concerning products
  •         Additional products or product modifications customers want  
  •         Complaints

The sheer volume of conversation going on allows businesses to analyze metrics and adjust customer service and marketing based on the numbers (i.e. number of negative posts about a product vs number of positive posts). Peer-to-peer marketing doesn’t exclude business-to-consumer social marketing—it runs alongside it.








We can learn quite a lot about what customers want, and what they like, from social media metrics. We can also learn from businesses who are doing this well. Here’s a look at some of the exemplars in different industries.

Five Guys

The burger franchise is all about social media for marketing and customer service. Through their efforts, Five Guys has one million followers on various channels, which has helped them open twelve-hundred locations worldwide. Online Marketing Specialist, Kenneth Westling, identifies three facets of the Five Guys social media campaign that contribute to its success:

  • Prioritizing customer service
  • Involving employees at home and abroad
  • Monitoring “engagement metrics” and “tailoring content based on what works for each social network audience”

Five Guys looks at posts related to brand and keywords and creates content based on what people are saying. Further, they use geo-locational data to zero in on marketing successes, product and service issues, and how people are feeling about unique campaigns around the world. They use Hootsuite to track as many types of hashtags about their company as possible and reach out to consumers on an individual level, talking with them, not at them.


The shipping company created a Customer Communications team to focus on, “Daily content and managing brand communications and reputation.” This team corresponds directly with a social customer service representative team, which reports to the overlying Social/Digital team. The Social/Digital team is more concerned with metrics and strategy. In terms of metrics, they measure the following:

  •         Conversation sentiment
  •         Engagement
  •         Organic audience growth
  •         Pull-through on Calls to Action

Their social customer service representatives work on responding to customer issues as quickly as possible. They get the most customer service inquiries on Twitter, then Facebook. They use social media to, “Serve as a barometer for customer concerns or business opportunities.” UPS’ efforts are an example of compartmentalizing different aspects of the social strategy, but integrating each team with the other.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines just landed on the list of Fortunes’ Top 50 Most Admired Companies. One reason is the companies’ practically legendary social media presence. Southwest’s “best practices” for social customer service include:

  •         Consistent engagement
  •         Timely action
  •         Genuine brand response

Southwest recently created a Listening Center, which they use to solve service issues, share information about their brand, and provide “one-contact resolution” to customers—which reflects their emphasis on personalization—they have teams devoted to each network and encourage flight attendants to post on social media when they find out about a customer’s special occasion.

As a take-home, here are five essential metrics to track:

  •         Engagement rate – amount of interest in a piece of content, divided by number of fans/followers
  •         Share of voice – your mentions vs those of a competitor
  •         Response time – amount of time it takes to respond to a query
  •         Response rate – percentage you responded to mentions
  •         Clicks – number of clicks

Any customer relationship management software can help you track these metrics. And ultimately, your social media campaign will benefit the more you listen.


Daniel_Matthewscropped_150x150Daniel Matthews is a freelance writer and musician from Boise, Idaho. In 2006, he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in English with a Creative Writing Emphasis from Boise State University. Throughout his twenties, Daniel worked as a Psychosocial Rehabilitation Specialist, a marketer, and a server. Last year he took the plunge and became a full-time writer. Daniel believes one of the most important, if not the most important aspect of modern business is the understanding and appreciate of diverse cultures. Please find him on Twitter.


3 KPIs to Track For Your Social Media Success

If you’re in business and you’re not harnessing the power of social media you need to jump on that bandwagon now. If you are using social media marketing as a channel to grow your business, awesome! But do you know how it’s working for your business?

You might be posting a video here or there to YouTube or some photos to Instagram. And you could be regularly posting to Facebook and Twitter, but if you’re not measuring how those social networks are working for you, and you’re not testing different approaches to maximize your results, you could be wasting valuable time.

But where do you start? There are so many metrics you could be measuring on social media, so let’s cull down the list and make sure that the most  important ones are at least being eyeballed.


Reach is defined as the number of people who could have seen your post. If you post a Tweet to Twitter and someone RTs your Tweet, your Tweet has the potential to be viewed not only by your followers but by their followers as well. So it’s important for you to get as much engagement on your posts as possible to spread the word. Reach is used as the denominator for the engagement rate metric (see below).

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Photo Credit: Dasheroo

Consider the days when your posts got a spike in reach, assess the content and the time of day you posted and post more like this!

It’s important to have a large number of fans but avoid the scams of “buying a million followers for $25”. Those are typically fake accounts, and fake fans don’t interact with your content, it doesn’t matter how many you have.

If your reach increased in a day or two, dig into what type of content you may have posted to get that spike and create and post more of that content.


Speaking of engagement, it’s our next metric! Engagement is defined differently across the various social networks but in general it’s the total number of interactions with your posts. Consider Comments, Likes, RTs, Mentions, Favorites, Clicks, Views and any other action someone can take on a post to be engagement.

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Photo Credit: Dasheroo

See a spike in “Mentions?” Dig in and find out what type of content people are engaging with, if it’s beneficial for you engage back and post similar content!

Engagement happens when you post something interesting to your followers. Interesting things that tend to get more engagement are photos (ask for captions!), short videos (Vine), posing questions, memes, topical content (stay away from polarizing content) and timing (know when posts work) to name a few.

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Photo Credit: Dasheroo

Does asking your Fans questions get the most response on your posts? You might consider using the question tactic to get people to respond. If they respond you’ll have an exponential group of people potentially seeing your posts.

For instance, try using images when you post to Twitter for an increase in engagement. And your Instagram posts should be a fun representation of who you are to get more likes, follows and comments. At Dasheroo our sticker makes its way around the world and posts awesome and fun content.

Also consider the following: the best time to post on Facebook is not the same as Twitter. Facebook posts perform best on Thursday and Friday, while Twitter updates are better received Monday through Friday. It might vary by industry and business.

Frequency of posts also lead to better engagement, but it depends on the social network. Since the life of a Tweet is so short you need to post multiple times a day, sometimes over 8! On Facebook, results have shown that posting more than 2x a day doesn’t increase engagement at all. So track engagement for this as well.

If you are posting for a week to multiple social networks, at the end of that week look across all of your engagement metrics. Look to see if one type of post (images vs. text vs. video) did better than others. Look for commonalities and gear your next week toward that type of content.

One important item on engagement, don’t forget about the engagement rate! You can take all of this engagement combined with your reach to get your engagement rate. Since as we’ve said, Reach is used as the denominator for this calculation. For instance if your content was potentially seen by 1000 people, and 20 people commented, 10 people shared, and 5 people liked:

20 + 10 + 5 / 1000 = 3.5% engagement rate

Now you can compare engagement rates across all of your social media marketing channels.

Website Traffic

You’ll of course want to track how many people are coming to your site from social networks if that’s where you’re sending folks! Using Google Analytics you can easily track which social networks are performing best.

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Photo Credit: Dasheroo

This company saw a surge in LinkedIn traffic to the site, time to dig in.

And if you’ve got Goals set up in Google Analytics you can even track it all the way to a sale or whatever your call-to-action is.

Photo Credit: Dasheroo

This company tracked traffic from social network all the way to a sign-up on a form using Goals in Google Analytics!

Important to note: Google Analytics gives you visitors (Sessions) broken out by channel. One of the default channels is “Social” which is anyone who comes to your site from a social channel. But there is also a default channel labeled “Direct”. Keep an eye on this channel for those that don’t directly click a social link but remember your name and type it directly into the browser. If you’ve got a surge in social you might have the “hangover” effect and have a surge in your Direct channel as well.

So make sure you’re keeping an eye on one of the most important metrics you can track and close the loop on your sale!

Bottom Line?

It’s easy to be confused by what to track, especially at the beginning of your efforts! But if you start with these and keep your eye on them, test content and test different social networks you’ll be sure to get new business from social media!

johnJohn Hingley brings 20+ years of sales & online marketing expertise with analytics-driven decision making & business savvy to help dozens of companies like Softkey, The Learning Company, Mattel,, Chandon & VerticalResponse gain market share.  He founded social media analytics company Andiamo Systems, acquired by Techrigy, Alterian and later HP. Currently John is a co-founder and CEO of Dasheroo, business dashboards done right. Now you can track all of your important business metrics from social networks, email marketing, web analytics and ecommerce in one place, free, see for yourself