Businesses are realizing just how important social media is in today's society. They are updating their Facebook pages and sending out tweets from their Twitter accounts, but the most successful businesses are doing more. Great businesses realize that there is a whole world of social media to engage in, and that is social media customer service. Social Media Customer Service Social media customer service is all about tending to your friends and followers on a personal level. Just as with your favorite restaurants and stores, a business's social media networks need a team of dedicated employees to cater to the needs of your devoted customers. It is not enough to post a status about your new service or product, you must be willing to take it to the next level. Engage with your fans. Respond to their posts and show them that they are more than just another Facebook or Twitter user. If you see a fan post a picture with your product, tell them how much you appreciate their business and offer them a special discount for their next visit. If a follower mentions that they were disappointed in your product, respond to them by asking what you can do in the future to ensure a more positive experience. The smallest gestures can have the greatest impact and its always a good thing to have happy customers. Happy customers are returning customers, and returning customers tell their friends how happy they have been with your product. This is where your social media customer service really pays off. Your Social Media Customer Service Team Unless you are a multimillion dollar company, it is probably unnecessary to have your own social media customer service team. Instead, this team can be made up of individuals from both your marketing and customer service teams. The customer service group will be your greatest asset because they are the ones coming face to face with customer problems and doing everything in their power to solve these problems. This group will be scanning Facebook, Twitter, and other message boards to stay up to date with what your customers are talking about. Your marketing team will need to be full of upper-management, people that will be on board with your social media plan and who will also help to fund it. It doesn't hurt to have a Public Relations specialist to help with social media customer service, as they will be in charge of creating your company's over-all message and ensuring that company lives up to its word. Social Media Customer Service: It's Time to Act Now Social media customer service is about responding instantly, not waiting around until you have the time to listen to each and every one of your customer's opinions. It's great when customers are happy with your product, and they should be recognized for their appreciation. However, it is important to understand that there are also a lot of complainers out there. Not everyone will have positive feedback about your product, and they won't be afraid to voice their experiences via Youtube, a personal blog, or their Facebook account. The best thing you can do in this crisis situation is be prepared. Understand your complainer - what happened, what they feel, and what they want from you in the future. Apologize and focus on fixing their problem. This will turn most complainers into happy customers because all they really want is to know that you care. Listen to them, react, and fix the problem. Establish your social media customer service team today, and keep your customers happy, loyal, and willing to share your product with others. Your business is sure to do well.