When you take your business into the realms of social media, there are a lot of things that can go right and a lot of things that can go wrong. How do you keep everything and everyone upright when you can’t control the situation?
Like everything in marketing, doing social media well requires you to have a clear strategy. One that is understood by all your page admins and co-workers. It must outline what to post and when, how to handle interactions from your followers and fans, and what to do with nasty comments and reviews.
This article gives you 6 tips for keeping on top of your social media presence – no matter what.
1. Reply to negative feedback, comments or reviews sensibly
If something nasty is said online, leave your response until the end of the day. By then, you will have had time to contact the customer directly if possible and/or resolve any issues before replying. Sometimes this may also stymie someone who had been waiting to jump on your response.
2. Maintain a good tempo
Where possible, post in the mornings, respond to messages instantly and schedule a mid-day and pre-COB interactions check. Get the bulk of your responses out of the way then, rather than popping on every few minutes to see how you are tracking. But…
3. Be ready to reply
Prompt response is great, the sooner you can answer any comments the better. This is, of course, easier if you have someone managing your page. If you’re managing your own social media while juggling the rest of the business, your users will (usually) cut you some slack on responsiveness. No one expects you to reply at 3am.
4. Show gratitude and positivity
Every positive comment on a post multiplies goodwill. Call it digital karma. Even if it’s just liking their comment, you are acknowledging that the user has interacted with your business.
5. Never fire from the lip or the hip
When faced with negative Neds and Nellies – stop. Think about your response. If you cannot respond in a reasoned manner, then a generic response is fine. You could use something like: “We appreciate all feedback at Corporation Inc. It gives us a chance to get to know our clientele and make improvements. We would love to contact you directly. Please PM us your details or call us on ph: 555 1234.”
As tempting as it is, never argue online. Fighting social media fire with fire has contributed to many business failures – some quite spectacular. Arguing on Facebook is no different to yelling at a crowd in front of your place of business – except there’s a permanent record.
6. Social media professionals can be worth it
If you lack confidence on any part of this, consider hiring in some professional social media advice to manage your channels and overall online reputation. They can help build your business’s social media reputation until you have learned enough to take over. At the very least they should be able to regularly post quality updates to your channels and build your following.
Win on social media by playing well, playing often and playing nice
With Facebook having a market cap of half a trillion US dollars, it’s safe to say that social media is where we all ended up after we all got online in the 1990s and 2000s.
It’s still a pretty new place to do business though. The rules – where everyone has a voice and authenticity is all – are certainly a new thing for the traditional take-no-prisoners business mindset to come to grips with.
A lot of things can go wrong, especially when a disgruntled customer flings mud at your business. Even more so when they are being unreasonable and your followers are, nonetheless, watching it all go down. It hurts. Yet, if it affects your composure, you’re the one who will lose.
You have to be prepared and professional. The tips above will help you pick your way through until you are confident and effective on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and whichever is the next one to take off.
And remember, social media users almost never have a digital strategy, it’s the one advantage your business can almost always count on. So get one!