Social media is no longer just a tool for stalking your middle school crush or sharing pictures of your dog. With companies and brands active across multiple platforms, the functionality of social media is constantly evolving and it can be hard to keep up.

That’s why we created Providing Great Customer Service Through Social Media, a guide that shares best practices around using social media as a customer support tool.

The fact is, consumers don’t just want social care, they expect it. Data from a 2016 Sprout Social report shows that 90 percent of customers have used social media in some way to interact with a brand, with over a third preferring it to traditional channels like phone and email.

In this emergent field, there can still be a significant gap between what customers expect from social care and the help they are receiving. Here’s a preview of how you can stand out by prioritizing social media support.

Be where your customers are
Figure out where your customers are already socializing. With this first step, you can determine where to dedicate time and resources—whether that’s Facebook, Twitter, or another social or popular messaging app—and get the conversation started.

Time is of the essence
Though social media may not be as instantaneous as phone or live chat support, it isn’t wise to let tweets and comments remain unanswered for very long. Data shows that expected response times can vary from minutes to even hours, but it’s always best to err on the side of immediacy. At the very least, make sure to let customers know you’ve seen their posts and are working on resolution.

Determine when to take an issue offline
Not every issue can be solved in 140 characters or less. Whether a thread is getting too long, or sensitive information is involved, knowing when to move a public conversation to a private channel is important. For example, anticipate if a support ticket could led to follow-up questions and avoid a feed-cluttering back-and-forth by directing the customer to a direct messaging space.

Read the full guide for more do’s, don’ts, and best practices for using social media for great customer service