Social media is a great avenue for companies that want to improve their customer service. We see a lot of brands talking to their clients on social media, ensuring that their customers’ concerns and complaints are properly handled.

Nike is a prime example. The company’s customer support Twitter account is there to help customers know when they have updates to their products and to answer questions. But since Twitter’s followers are limited, Nike is dealing with most of their customer service on Facebook.

We’re also seeing AvaCare Medical and other smaller companies use Facebook to answer customer questions and even chat directly with customers.

But the rise of social media as an integral platform for companies to offer customer service has also led to a new trend: appreciation through social media.

Contests Showing Recognition

Customers want to be recognized, and any boost to their social media following is normally welcomed. Mini did this in a really neat way thanks to a user-generated campaign on social media. The company runs a monthly challenge, through photos, where they have fans do wacky things.

And the winner gets a “congratulations” from the company along with their photo posted on the company’s social media account.

The company also showed appreciation for bestfriends.org, an animal society that the company has supported and promoted extensively on its social media accounts.

Milestone Appreciation

Companies are thanking their fans when they reach certain milestones, and this may be when a company reaches a certain number of followers or reaches a new sales record. When this happens, a simple “it couldn’t have happened without you” is often posted.

But some companies will also share discounts and new products as a way of saying “thank you.”

Giveaways

Pizza Hut came up with a very clever way to thank their community in 2013, and this was done through a giveaway program. The program revolved around hashtags, primarily the “#LastMinuteLovers” hashtag.

What this hashtag did was allow spouses and significant others who forgot about Valentine’s Day or decided to get gifts last-minute to have one of 24 gifts sent to their partner before the big day.

Of course, not everyone could win, but 24 gifts were awarded, which included a $20 gift card and pizza-scented perfume.

The giveaway helped the struggling chain pick up new followers and make it into the news thanks to their quirky giveaway program.

Control and Product Creation

Sometimes, depending on the niche and company, it’s possible to show appreciation by listening to your customers. We’ve seen companies take polls, and these polls would dictate the items that the company would create next.

This can also be done with software companies or online portals that plan to add new features.

Appreciating your customers’ feedback is a huge benefit to a company, and it will let a company truly give thanks to their customers and social media followers.

When companies acknowledge their followers, whether through discounts, giveaways or even contests, it strengthens a brand’s image and builds a loyal follower base.