Customer care is an integral component of any social media marketing strategy but many brands don’t know where to start when it comes to developing a well-rounded approach. To help tackle the growing trend, we gathered a group of seasoned experts during our recent Sprout Social Hour in New York City.

Special guest Jeff Lesser, Product Marketing Manager at Twitter, talked about the network’s focus on it and highlighted recent Twitter enhancements that help businesses easily resolve customer issues. Joined by Erica Moss, Community Manager at Bitly, and Emily Chapman, Technical Account Manager at Trello, and Sprout’s product marketing manager, Patrick Cuttica, I moderated a lively discussion on some social customer care best practices.

3 Social Customer Care Must-Haves

Our panelists identified three must-haves for any successful social customer care strategy.

1. Be the Front Lines of Customer Service

Jeff Lesser shared how Twitter recognized that consumers were actively using the platform for customer care. The statistics were noteworthy.

“80% of social customer requests that happen today, happen on Twitter. Over the last two years there’s been a 2.5x increase in then amount of users who are Tweeting to brands and looking for a response,” Lesser said.

When it comes to providing your consumers with the best service possible, our panelists agreed that being on the front lines of customer service and efficiently responding to inbound requests is necessary.

2. Embrace the Skills You Can’t Train

I prompted the panel with a common question I often receive whenever the topic of social customer care arises: “Do you train customer support experts to be proficient in social or do you train marketing and communication specialists to be knowledgable in customer support?”

Emily Chapman explained that she believes support agents inherently want to help people and should be trained in social customer care.

“As long as they’re comfortable in the platform and feel sufficiently guided in providing that support,” Chapman said.

3. Create Customer Moments with Every Tweet

Consumers aren’t communicating with brands on social because they want to be connected to a robot. “Everyone comes to Twitter for that human element,” Lesser said.

Each interaction on social is an opportunity for brands to impact a customer and strengthen brand loyalty. That’s why it’s important for social customer care agents to try and create personal connections with their communities.

Ask the Audience: 5 Key Takeaways

Throughout the event, the audience took to Twitter to share their favorite moments.

Here are five key takeaways that our audience identified:

What is your organization’s approach to social customer care? Do you have a strategy in place for responding to consumers on the go? How did you onboard your support team and get them comfortable using Twitter?

Join the conversation in the comments section below and check out our Events & Appearances page to learn when Sprout will be visiting your city.