There seems to be growing debate among businesses over whether to use social media as a marketing or customer care channel. While I can’t speak to what’s best for other organizations, I’ll share with you what seems to work for Boingo and our customers.
Boingo’s social media efforts are geared primarily at providing support to customers. We’re in the business of keeping people online. If our customers encounter difficulty, we want to know and we want to fix it. It’s that simple for us. Customers contact us by phone, email, and increasingly via Twitter and Facebook. We want to be where our customers are so, for example, if they choose to tweet to us for help, they can count on us to tweet a reply.
When we’re not answering questions or troubleshooting via our social media channels, we’re secondarily focused on having a conversation with our community. Since Boingo customers are predominantly travelers and/or tech enthusiasts, we post news about travel and technology. We’re often delighted by the conversations and debates spurred by these news items.
On occasion, we use Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to post news about Boingo, e.g., new hotspot locations, partnerships, software updates, product integrations and most popular of all — fun contests with prizes.
In short, Boingo’s social media efforts are all about the customer. First and foremost, it’s about ensuring customers have a seamless experience. Following that, it’s about conversation and engagement. If we’re talking with you on a regular basis about common interests, then we have a better understanding of your needs, which in turn informs how we make decisions when it comes our product and network strategy.