Companies have a lot to gain from joining social media sites and maintaining good customer interaction. Unfortunately, without proper and consistent attention, social sites can turn ugly real quick. Few things can discourage customers more than a poorly maintained social media page, so before you post, take the following tips into consideration to make sure your social is superb.
Start With a Little Self Reflection
Before joining any social network, you should stop and ask yourself “What are we looking to gain from having a social media presence?” Don’t create a page just because others are doing it. You’ll have the potential to grow your company’s following and interact with customers directly, but social media is something that takes both time and dedication so if you aren’t ready to commit, don’t.
Now Branch Out
Once you’ve reflected on your company, turn to your audience. Who are you trying to reach through your social channels and which networks do they use? Each social network is a little different and operates in its own way. Once you’ve decided what networks to use, you can start focusing on content.
Before making a single post, focus on the content that matters most – your page content. Make sure to start off on the right foot and complete your page in entirety. Whether it’s a Facebook page or Twitter profile, load it up with any and all information followers might need. Keep it simple, but be sure that it’s easy for new followers to quickly learn more about your company and what you do.
Be Sure to Cater Your Content
Now that your page is ready, you can start creating the content that you’ll want to socialize. When doing so, make sure content fits the network and is beneficial to your followers. Reposting funny memes, while entertaining, isn’t going to benefit your followers much aside from a quick laugh. The trick is to make your page worth following by figuring out the right blend of social entertainment and business information. Content that is relevant to your company will help to establish you as experts and in turn you will become trusted advisors to your followers. Throw in some less “business-y” and more social posts and you’ll keep your followers both educated and entertained.
Keep Your Followers close, but Your Competitors Closer
Aside from review sites such as Yelp and Angie’s List, social pages are another outlet for customers to give feedback and reviews. Be sure to monitor any reviews that come your way, but also keep an eye on your competition. If you notice that they are more active on social media, you may want to step your game up. If they’re running specials or promoting discounts, consider a counter move for your own business.
Social networks are all about getting personal, so although you may be running your company’s page, don’t be too corporate and never fake it. There are some services out there that offer “robot” responses – for example, an automatic reply or favorite when someone tweets you. You can see where this might not always be the best solution and in the past it has caused major headaches for some big businesses such as Dole and Nestle (and also a lot of laughs). For more, check out the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Customer Service on Social Media.
If you notice that your followers are conversing on your page, join in! This is an unparalleled opportunity to speak directly with your customers, so don’t let it slip. When taking part in the conversation, be sure to address any questions your audience might have. Take this as a chance to ask for their direct feedback also. Unfortunately, at times this feedback may be negative. At that point, you may not know what to do, but don’t just dismiss it and certainly don’t delete it! Negative activity is probably the most important to address. You’ve been given an opening to take an unsatisfied customer and work with them directly to turn it around. Listen to their feedback and take it into consideration before providing a response. Depending on the feedback, you could give them a special offer or agree to see the situation through to resolution. While negative comments may look bad on your page, if new followers see that you addressed the situation and came to a resolution, that will make a lasting impression.
While maintaining a social presence can be tiring at times, remember that consistency is key and keep at it! Once you create a page/profile on any social network, you’ve created an outlet for your customers and the conversation is going to happen with or without you. Don’t let conversations happen without you. Check your networks regularly and be sure to respond to any posts that warrant it. You can set up notifications on almost every site and if you’re feeling particularly techy, services such as If This Then That and Hootsuite can put the internet to work for you.
It’s Called Social Media
When you get down to the nitty-gritty, the point of social media is to be social and participate; if you can’t do that, then don’t join. For more ways to revamp your social presence, be sure to Catch Up on the Latest in Social Media and check out our 4 Tips to Spring Clean Your Social Media Strategy.