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Social media’s role in modern customer service

New insights for 2024 and beyond


For more than two decades, audiences have turned to social media to share praise, air grievances and everything in between. The audience demand is there, yet only 20% of brands have well-defined and comprehensive social customer care strategies.

Social customer care is your chance at a competitive advantage. Use these insights to develop a strategy that elevates the most pivotal touchpoint in the customer experience.

Businesses leaders are picking up on the untapped potential of social for customer service

63% of consumers agree that their loyalty to a brand is significantly influenced by the quality of customer support they provide on social media, and leaders across customer service, marketing and communications are taking note.

88% of business leaders agree social data and insights are critical to delivering exceptional customer care.

Somewhat agree
Strongly agree

Most social customer service processes fall short of expectations

Consumers are raising their standards, and businesses are struggling to keep up. Marketers and business leaders are weighing in on the current state of social customer service. 

Only 8% of social marketers say…
They believe themselves to be leaders in customer care on social media.
Only 30% of marketers say…
Their brand actively engages with customers on social media and has implemented some customer service tools and processes.
71% of business leaders agree…
Most companies don't have a strong social media strategy for customer service and care.

The biggest challenges social customer care teams face today

It’s not that companies don’t want to provide better customer service on social—it’s that many aren’t equipped to do so effectively. Here’s why.


Too many messages

63% of marketers say they often deal with a high volume of customer requests, which prevents them from meeting time-to-resolution goals.


Too much manual work

48% of marketers say manual tasks take up a significant amount of time, likely due to process redundancies and lack of cross-functional visibility.


Too little context

41% of marketers say they have gaps in available customer information for agents to reference when handling requests, preventing personalization that creates better customer experiences.

What leading brands are doing to close the gap

Here are the top four process adjustments social teams plan to implement to improve customer experiences.

Increasing collaboration with other departments

60% of social teams plan to collaborate with other departments and teams across customer service and marketing to align social media efforts with the overall customer experience.

Implementing social listening and monitoring strategies

Nearly half (43%) of surveyed brands plan to use social listening and monitoring to support more customer-centric service strategies. This rich data plays a critical role in understanding customer sentiment—the most common use case identified by marketers.

Leveraging social data to enhance customer experiences

Social customer care engagement sits at the intersection of customer service and brand marketing, creating a learning curve for traditional support agents. Over a third (40%) of social teams are solving this by leveraging shared data analytics to personalize social media interactions and enhance customer experiences.

Increasing investments in social media resources and tools 

Increased collaboration between social and customer service teams starts with connected tools that support robust, cross-functional workflows. Business leaders are on board here, with 96% expecting social data to be integrated into their company’s CRM capabilities over the next three years.

What you can do to improve your business’ approach to social customer care

Social media plays an integral role in any modern customer service strategy—no matter your audience. Here are three ways you can level up your company’s strategy in 2024.

Identify gaps and redundancies in your current process

Map out the individuals, processes and tools that currently support your social customer service strategy. This is a good opportunity to connect with agents to zero in on the pain points that prevent teams from offering top tier service.

What slows teams down? What limits the overall quality of support? These insights will inform your next steps.

Want even more data? Take a deeper dive into today's social customer service landscape.

The Sprout Social Index Edition XIX: Breakthrough

We surveyed over 1,800 consumers and 900 marketers to uncover their priorities in today’s shifting social media landscape, where the gaps are and how to close them. Download the Sprout Social Index™ Report for more insights on the intersection of social and customer service.

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About the data

The 2023 Sprout Social Index Report. Research was conducted online in the US and UK by Cint on behalf of Sprout Social. Participants included 1,817 consumers who follow at least five brands on social media. Additionally, 903 full-time social marketers involved in managing their brand’s social media strategy (i.e., performed the job themselves or managed someone who does) were surveyed from a cross section of US and UK businesses. Both surveys were conducted from June 12 to June 23, 2023.

The 2023 State of Social Media. 778 US and UK social media marketing, customer care and communications professionals were recruited by the Harris Poll on behalf of Sprout Social between March 13-27, 2023. Titles held by participants include Manager or Sr. Manager (16%), Director or Sr. Director (19%), Vice President (40%), C-level Executive (19%) or Owner/President (6%). Relationships between variables collected were analyzed using parametric statistics for statistical significance.