Lots of businesses have social media these days. All of them are using a plethora of tactics to create qualified leads, broaden brand awareness, build specific influential audiences, and to communicate with customers and clients, to name but a few.
But one aspect of social media management, which many companies fail to be prepared for, is their audience interacting with them. Two-way communication and sharing are what sets Social Media apart from traditional marketing methods and if a company doesn’t get this crucial element right, they stand a strong chance of really damaging their brand in a short space of time.
Every interaction is a first impression
Because of the nature of social media every post, like, share, tweet, comment and connection that you or your company makes will be the first impression for at least a few people.
Depending on the size of your audience, seemingly unimportant interactions could have huge impact in terms of new reach.
This means that everything you do through Social Media should to be considered. How would someone who has never met your brand, could interpret a certain comment? Will a response out of context make you look arrogant or condescending? There are many pitfalls and avoiding them all is a daunting task, even for professionals.
The key to success is to listen!
Always listen to your audience, find out what they want and who they interact with. Once you are confident that you have something to offer get involved. Don’t inflict what you think your audience wants to hear, instead give them what they want to hear.
The social media crowd has no patience for self-involved chatter. They want interaction that they are interested in and will hold no punches when it comes to the “un-follow button”. If you find that you have a high turn over of followers then you certainly need to look at the information you are putting out.
So you have had some bad feedback, a customer who is unhappy with a product or service has left a rather frustrated comment on your Facebook wall. What do you do? Do you delete it and pretend it never happened? Do you defend yourself and explain why this customer is being unreasonable? The answer is no! This is the perfect opportunity to show your graceful customer service skills to your audience.
Respond calmly with a personal and open statement along the lines of “Hi Jess, we are sorry to hear this. Please send your contact details to our support team and we’ll get in touch ASAP to get to the bottom of this as fast as we can”
This shows any future customers that you listen and that you care. No one is perfect but at least you react to problems proactively.
Tips for responding well
- Be quick
- Be honest
- Don’t make excuses
- Listen and acknowledge
- Offer a solution
Once you have successfully dealt with an issue and the customer has been appeased ask them if they wouldn’t mind responding to their original comment with some honest feedback regarding the resolution. Or if they are uncomfortable with this add a comment yourself along the lines of “Thank you Jess for getting in touch, we are happy that you are now pleased with your service and we wish you all the best”.
This approach won’t always be appropriate but it’s worth doing as it shows your prospective clients that you value them.
Don’t be afraid to start using social media. Connect. Respond. Build Relationships. Now is the perfect time to be a brand people can relate to.