Welcome back to the Post Performance Report (PPR), a series where we compile and analyze social media posts and campaigns inspiring us, and breakdown what makes them so genius. We unpack how your brand can use these examples to spark your own scroll-stopping ideas—while maximizing your budget and doing more with less.

According to The Sprout Social Index™, the most memorable thing brands can do on social is respond to their customers. So this month we scoured the internet looking for brands across industries—from pet products to business software to car insurance—who shine when responding on social. Each of these brands deliver A+ customer care, which translates to increased awareness, brand loyalty, positive sentiment and revenue.

Here’s our lineup of brands who take customer care on social seriously, and takeaways you can use to elevate your care strategy to new heights.

PNC Bank: Finance industry-approved customer care

For brands in regulated industries like financial services, social can be a perilous place. Regulatory agencies closely monitor financial institutions to ensure their social presence complies with laws and regulations (if it doesn’t, it can result in significant fines and other legal action). One rogue post can lead to the collapse of decades-old financial institutions.

A screenshot of PNC Bank Help responding to a user on X (formerly Twitter). The care team is explaining how the customer can use their thumbprint to open the PNC Bank app.

The stakes are high, but that doesn’t mean financial companies can ignore social altogether. The opposite is true. Being engaged on social is vital to protecting their brand and retaining customers. For example, the 170-year old PNC Bank is dedicated to ensuring consumers’ financial wellbeing. And that includes on their service channel of choice: social media.

A screenshot of an exchange between PNC Bank Help and a user who is trying to set up an online account. The PNC Bank care team asks the user for more details, and responded with a message that has a "Send us a private message" button.

Their team responds to customer needs thoroughly and professionally—while protecting consumer privacy and remaining compliant. They make it easy for users to send private messages with the click of a button, and do their best to fully resolve issues without sending customers to a different channel.

A screenshot of a proactive post on X from the PNC Bank Help account that reads: Good morning! How can we assist today? Message us if you need us!

They are so committed to providing service on social, they proactively ask their customers how they can assist them on a regular basis. PNC Bank’s customer care on social stands out in the crowded financial services industry. According to Sprout Social Listening data from January 13 to February 12, 2024, PNC Bank has a 64% positive sentiment rate, which is 8% and 12% higher than its two biggest competitors.

The play: Social customer care isn’t just for digital-first brands. Consumers expect real-time interactions with legacy brands, like financial service institutions, healthcare providers and government agencies too. Brands in regulated industries need a plan in place to address compliance risks and guidelines, so they can show up for their customers. Remember: The greatest risk to your brand is a customer experience filled with friction.

Liquid Death: Strategic, supportive and snarky

Irreverence to convention is core to Liquid Death’s brand. But so is transparency. The water brand is currently worth $700 million, a testament to the effectiveness of its particular edginess. It stands out in a market full of water brands—typically available in plastic containers—as the anti-establishment choice.

When responding to customers on social, they don’t adopt a professional persona that would counter their brand. Instead, they curse and communicate succinctly, while still acknowledging customers’ questions and pain points. Even when the issue isn’t their fault, like in this example.

A screenshot of an exchange on X between Liquid Death and a dissatisfied customer. Liquid Death responded they were "sorry for the shitty experience," and worked to resolve the situation.

They approach care as an arm of their content strategy, using it as an opportunity to emphasize their competitive differentiator: no plastic. Of course, they do it in their own morbid way.

A screenshot of Liquid Death responding to a customer on X, where they disparage their competition for using plastic that takes over 400 years to degrade.

The play: Adopting an irreverent, snarky brand voice on social is absolutely not for everyone. But it works for Liquid Death because these traits are baked into their brand DNA. The most important thing to pay attention to in their customer interactions is how they prioritize:

  • Resolving their customers’ issues.
  • Engaging with posts and comments in a way that feels genuine and authentic.
  • Infusing competitive advantages into their responses.

Chewy: Melting pet parents’ hearts

For help crafting this article, we turned to Sprout Social’s community, The Arboretum, to learn which brands inspired other social pros. A brand that received emphatic praise was Chewy, the beloved pet food and products company.

As Rebecca Taylor, Social Media Marketing Manager at UserTesting put it, “I’ve never been let down by Chewy’s team. They engage with posts of my cat frolicking in boxes when his deliveries come. They respond ASAP if there’s ever an issue (even when the issue is delivery, they just reship immediately so no one goes hungry). They even periodically send little surprises, like birthday cards or portraits of my cat. I don’t know another brand who goes as far for their customer or makes you feel like they genuinely care the way Chewy does (if the Chewy social media manager is reading this, I’m a huge fan!)”

A screenshot of a loyal fan of Chewy's customer service applauding them on X.

The brand is well-known for their compassionate voice, personalized service, and going above and beyond for their customers (and their pets). Even when issues seem out of their control, like when this customer said Chewy’s boxes were too heavy to lift up the stairs, they are quick to find a way to help.

A screenshot of an exchange between Chewy and a customer on X. The customer is having issues lifting their Chewy boxes up their stairs, and Chewy stepped in to help them out.

One of the most impressive things about Chewy’s care strategy is that they refer to all of their customers’ pets by name, like in this response to a user on X (formerly Twitter). That level of personalization requires integrating social data with CRM software, the holy grail of seamless customer experiences.

A screenshot of an X exchange between a Chewy customer and the brand. When replying to their customer, Chewy includes the names of the customer's pets.

Chewy’s investment in providing top-tier service on social pays off. According to Sprout Social Listening data from January 13 to February 12, 2024, Chewy has an impressive positive sentiment rate of 77%.

The play: Social is one cog in Chewy’s exceptionally well-oiled customer care machine. Responsiveness and proactive care are the norm for the brand across channels, and it’s clear every touchpoint is equally important to their strategy. When expanding your social care efforts, remember it’s only one piece of the puzzle. To deliver a seamless, satisfying customer experience, your brand needs to streamline your multichannel service workflow, and have the right resources on hand.

Jira by Atlassian: Your new work BFF just entered the chat

Jira’s social customer care persona might be described as “your work BFF.” They’re quick to reply to customer mentions with witty comments and affirmative messages. For a software brand, their conversations feel remarkably human. A reminder that even B2B social customer care should be person-first.

As Loren Siegel, Atlassian’s Community and Engagement Senior Team Lead, puts it, one of the company’s values is, “Don’t f*** the customer.” And that’s at the heart of everything they do, especially when it comes to customer care.

A screenshot of an exchange between Jira and a customer who is referencing using their product. Jira is responding to the post, even though their product wasn't tagged or mentioned.

Since using Sprout Social, Atlassian (the company behind Jira) was able to cut their time to first reply down from seven and a half hours to two and a half. Siegel says our platform helps them nurture a more connected customer experience. “Sprout removes the curtain of mystery between all teams that touch social media. It really helps bring visibility between the marketing, customer care, communications and brand teams,” she says.

In the last fiscal year, revenue at Atlassian grew 26%, and 50% in the enterprise segment. Their growth can be attributed to powerful software and the overall positive sentiment consumers feel toward their brands. A major part of that is their care team.

A screenshot of a customer tagging Jira on X, and asking when they can get an ETA for a new dropdown option. The brand responded with: On it.

The play: B2B brands, this one’s for you: Humanize. Your. Brand. The people who reach out to you on social want to talk to other people, so use that to your advantage. Talk like a human. Celebrate loyal fans who want to geek out over your product together. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

GEICO: There for you on your worst day

When customers reach out to GEICO, it’s usually because they’re having a really bad day. Whether they have a question about billing, run into friction on other service channels or even got into a car accident, tensions are high. Which means the customer care team needs to execute flawlessly.

A screenshot of an exchange on X between the GEICO Service Team and a customer who is frustrated with speaking to an automated system instead of an actual person.

GEICO excels at responding promptly and calmly on their support account, @GEICO_Service—quickly bringing the exchange from mentions to DMs, which ensures privacy protection for their policyholders.

A screenshot of an exchange on X between the GEICO Service Team and a customer. The GEICO team asks the customer to share their name, policy information, email address, state and zip code in a DM.

Providing quality customer care on social is a differentiator for GEICO. Their top competitors don’t offer support on social at all, and instead frustratingly refer customers to their support hotline or their agents. As a result, Sprout Listening data from January 14 to February 13 demonstrates that GEICO has a positive sentiment score of 68%, which is 12% and 30% higher than their top competitors.

A screenshot of a customer reaching out to the GEICO Service Team on X asking for help getting new insurance cards. The team is quick to respond and offer to help.

Part of their positive sentiment comes from the elevation of priceless brand assets like the GEICO Gecko, the star of their recent Legend of the Lizard documentary. But in an industry full of mascots, GEICO stands out on social for providing a complete brand experience—from content to care.

The play: Customer care on social should be part of your brand building strategy. Businesses across industries need to deliver fast, personalized care on social to outshine the competition (like GEICO), and protect the long-term health of their brand.

Engaging social content + customer care = a healthy brand

Small business spotlight: Melinda’s Hot Sauce

Unlike other brands on this list, Melinda’s doesn’t have hundreds of thousands of followers. But what this small but mighty business offers its customers is something even enterprises envy: a genuinely great product loyal customers can’t stop raving about.

The rapidly growing condiment manufacturer is quick to respond to customer comments and questions on social. When they do, the small business acts as if they are a chef making personalized recommendations to someone dining at their restaurant. Probably because they are a chef-founded company, and they put satisfying flavor and spice above all else.

A screenshot of a customer commenting on a Melinda's Hot Sauce Facebook Reel mentioning how much they love the heat in the hot sauce. The brand chimes in that they love to hear it.

A screenshot of a customer comment asking for regular sized bottles. Melinda's Hot Sauce responded with a store locator where the customer could find those bottles.

Melinda’s genuine, wholesome demeanor makes it easy to cheer for the brand and its co-founders. Their efforts, on social and beyond, are why the brand has found its way on so many “best hot sauces” lists alongside household favorites.

A screenshot of a comment on Melinda Hot Sauce's Facebook Reel of a customer who doesn't like one of the flavors. Melinda's team responds with appreciation for the feedback.

The play: As a food retailer, it might have been easy for Melinda’s to take on a sarcastic tone, like many food and beverage industry peers. But that wouldn’t be true to their brand ethos. Larger brands should take note of the power of being true to your values, and remember that when you put your heart into your products, it shows in your customer care efforts.

Your customers are waiting for you. Are you ready?

That wraps up our second installment of the Post Performance Report. Stay tuned for next month’s edition where we’ll be focusing on brands mastering influencer marketing. In the meantime, remember these key takeaways:

Post Performance Report Takeaways

  • Your customers expect you to reply and resolve their issues on social. Staying silent opens the door for competitors to swoop in and gain an advantage.
  • You should respond to customers in a way that feels authentic to your brand. Not take a cookie-cutter approach or opt for a strategy just because it feels trendy and cool.
  • Social customer care is one element of an effective care approach. Make sure the customer experience is seamless at every point.

 

Looking for more customer care inspiration? Download our social media customer service training deck to make sure your service reps understand the nuance social customer care demands.

And if you see a social post or campaign that deserves to be highlighted, tag us @sproutsocial and use #PostPerformanceReport to have your idea included in a future article.

The post Post Performance Report: Brands transforming social customer care appeared first on Sprout Social.