It seems that everyone has a social media profile these days. Businesses are told that it’s the ‘cool’ thing to do, and that it will win them more customers. However, this isn’t necessarily the case and it often depends on a couple of factors.
Firstly, you need to think about whether you have enough time and resource to dedicate to your social media, and whether whoever is tasked with running it will be able to represent the business in one of the only online ‘customer interaction’ platforms that you will have.
The second point is whether you ACTUALLY need it. While it’s great for those in fashion or travel, will having a Facebook page necessarily work if you are, for example, an accountancy firm?
Listen and respond to feedback
If someone has made the effort to contact you via social media, it’s usually because they have some feedback to give you. Whilst we would hope that this will always be to sing our praises, more often than not it’s because they have a complaint or a recommendation of how things could be improved. Many businesses are worried about negative comments appearing on their social media profiles, however what people will consider more important is how you deal with any criticism directed your way. Showing that you can adapt to feedback and change things for the better is a great way of building your brand reputation.
Share content/run competitions
Give your followers/fans a reason to stick with you. Nobody wants to see a one-line update every week or so. Instead, offer something interesting, like a funny video, a relevant blog post, or run a poll into something that is going to interest your followers. Additionally, run competitions to persuade people to engage with you. Offer something like an iPad in exchange for one lucky person for taking part in a survey which is going to suggest ways in how you can improve your service. You can even use surveys like this to create your own original content for your website which can be used for link-baiting and improving your SEO performance.
Develop your own voice
In order to interact successfully with your followers, you need to talk to them on a human level, rather than using business-like, company-jargon language which will quickly alienate people. While you can follow certain guidelines, such as what you can and cannot say on Facebook/Twitter, you need to show that you are trying to make an effort to understand your customers and not appear to be above them in any way.
Avoid automated posts
A few automated messages per week are fairly acceptable for most brands running a Facebook, Twitter or other social media profile. However, they can start to grate on even the loyalist of followers if the content offered in these is not up to scratch of the real customer interaction that the brand usually provides. So try to limit these, and even avoid them completely if possible.