Social Media Best Practices – 5 Tips for Engaging with Followers
The evolving social media landscape has forever changed marketing. What was once a “nice to have” digital footprint for your business has become a critical channel for reaching targeted audiences and opening up a two-way channel of communication. Every click, like, comment and share of a social media post is an indication that your target audience is invested in your brand and builds a stronger relationship between your customers and your brand. The KCD PR team compiled our top tips for optimizing every engagement opportunity to build brand loyalty, increase word-of-mouth referrals and increase sales.
Respond to questions and complaints quickly
If someone posts a question or complaint to one of your social media pages, it’s always best to respond to it in a timely manner and then take it offline as quickly as possible. Ideally, comments and questions will be responded to in real-time or as close to it as possible. Negative comments should be handled with empathy rather than shoved under the rug and deleted. More often than not, disgruntled followers reach out because they want to be heard. Showing compassion and understanding on a public platform not only meets this need but sets the expectation for your other followers that they will be met with the same level of service and care.
Know when to “take it offline”
Of course, not all customer issues will be easily solved with a tweet or comment response. It’s best to invite customers to send you a direct message or email if they need to share their personal information for you to help them, or if the conversation is getting tense. This will minimize external visibility into more complex conversations and potentially solve the problem faster than waiting for a customer response via social.
Here’s an example:
Speak as the company brand
When interacting with followers, it is always best to use the brand’s “voice” when responding or interacting on social media. Always use “we” and “our” language rather than “I” or “my” to present a unified company voice and be conscious of the culture and tone of the platform being used. For example, some platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook tend to be more casual than others like LinkedIn. Creating an internal-facing document with frequently asked questions and responses ensures that responses remain consistent and adhere to pre-approved company messaging standards.
Don’t feel compelled to respond to everything
Engaging with customers via social media is a key element of building brand trust. However, quality engagement that drives conversations in your particular space should remain the priority. As you monitor your social media engagement, take the time to provide thoughtful follow-up on exceptional feedback, questions, or those seeking advice, etc.
Here’s an example:
Develop a company social media policy
To ensure that everyone is on the same page, it’s always a good idea to have a policy in place to direct employees on the right and wrong ways to interact on both personal and company social media pages.
Some examples of what a company social media policy can include are:
- Requiring employees to disclose their relationship to your company
- Reminding employees that the internet is a public space and “whatever happens in Vegas…appears in Google”
- Establish an open line of communication for employees to ask questions about social media usage