It’s becoming more and more common for people to turn to social media as a method of communicating with brands.
Any brand that has a social media presence needs to be responsive to this communication, but sadly they’re often not.
By now you should know that having a substantial number of followers on social media is irrelevant if you aren’t talking with your audience because social media is about having conversations. But how social are you on social media? Do you join in the conversations on Twitter? Do you respond to comments on your Facebook page?
There’s a definite communication breakdown when brands are non-responsive, and if you’re a consumer it’s enough to drive you insane!
To put it simply, if you plan to make social media a part of your marketing and want it to work for you then you really need to put in the effort to be social and engage with your audience.
Broadcasting is for radio
If you’re using your Facebook page or Twitter feed to make ‘announcements’ to your followers, then you’re doing it wrong. By all means, go ahead and advertise your brand and broadcast announcements on TV and radio, but not on social.
Social media is a two-way street. It’s a bit like talkback radio, a conversation between a group of people where everyone gets to have their voice heard. Brands need to embrace the community on social media platforms, and they need to listen and respond to the people that engage with them on social and not just use it as a broadcasting platform.
Rule number one: don’t ignore your fans!
Social media has become a natural part of people’s daily communication. It is therefore quite normal for people to contact brands via social media for support or assistance, even when the brand’s page doesn’t advertise it as a customer service platform.
When your fans talk to you on social media you need to talk back to them. Ignoring people on social media is like putting them on hold. We all know how painful that can be. For a consumer, being ignored on social media (i.e. waiting on hold) can feel like an eternity, especially when terrible music is blaring down the phone.
If you are using social media for your brand then you need to take this onboard. Remember rule number one? That’s right, don’t ignore your fans!
Even though you may not have a tonne of engagement with every single thing you post on social media you still need to keep a watchful eye on each of the profiles you have for your brand.
It is best to visit your brand’s social profiles on a daily basis. Apart from posting and sharing content from other pages, you should be checking your notifications for comments and mentions. It is also a good idea to set up alerts so that you are aware of any brand mentions, be mindful that sometimes users won’t tag your brand or could use an incorrect spelling.
When you do get a mention ensure that you acknowledge your audience by thanking them. This small gesture goes a long way – it’s how audiences become fans and fans become advocates.