Five Reasons You Need Social Media Management

We see social as a relationship-building tool to engage with people who are already familiar with a product or brand.  Equally it’s a platform to provide insight through useful, usable, informative and ultimately shareable content. The combination is a recipe for a simple, yet effective strategy.

Impatient customers with questions or concerns expect a swift and personal response. Platforms like Twitter put users fingertips away from a brand and potentially thousands of its followers and influencers.

BELCHATOW, POLAND - AUGUST 31, 2014: Happy group of finger smileys with popular social media logos printed on paper and stuck to the fingers.

According to VentureBeat we complain 879 million times a year on Social Media, with this number growing year on year you have to ask yourself, why would you not communicate and manage your community using social media?

There’s never been a more important time to manage your community, and here’s five ways to be more effective:

1: It’s easy to receive feedback and follow-up

To resolve a consumer issue via social is likely to be faster and cheaper than traditional customer services. This is great as it then allows you to immediately ask for feedback on whether or not the interaction was useful to the user.

Social cuts out the need to call or email, it’s immediacy is in the moment and if a solution is possible in 140 characters or Facebook post thanks to well-prepared community managers, it saves time on both sides.

There’s a greater opportunity for feedback – how many people really bother to complete an emailed questionnaire, take part in a telephone survey or honestly complete an online review form?  Social is one to one at scale, and is a relationship.

Reason 2: The personal touch

In an increasingly impersonal world, the human touch is mostly appreciated. A considered response that is personal first and corporate second will create a more positive conversation. a little bit of genuine empathy makes for a more approachable organisation.

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3: Immediacy

A great thing about social is the speed in which a conversation happens. The majority of customers access their profiles via smartphones, so disgruntled punter neither wants to listen to default hold music nor wait an unspecified time for their email to be processed and get an unsuitable response.

Time and quality of communication is vital. A one line response on Facebook or Twitter is actually expected as an answer to a similarly couched customer question.  Unlike a one line email response that comes across as a lazy FAQ  copy n paste.

Community management response should be reasonable and proportionate – wherever possible almost instant. That’s the deal.

There is a caveat – this can make a company vulnerable because the pressure is on to get back to a question super quick. But if the answer isn’t obvious then a holding reply “I need to ask a colleague for help with that, I’ll get back to you ASAP” – is perfectly reasonable. Little details mean a lot.

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4: Encourages users to mention your brand or product

The more conversations and general interactions one has on social, the more opportunities to keep customers coming back.  The more positive an interaction, the more likely a customer is to mention you positively in their posts – and every social mention is a review.

Even if the conversation starts negatively, the outcome should be a positive experience, even if the situation can’t be resolved.  The process and the conversation should be a positive experience.

5: Social users more likely to talk about their experience

If someone is inclined to take to Twitter to tweet negatively, they’re equally inclined to tweet on the back of a positive experience. The most active users have hundreds, if not thousands of followers and the ripple effect of a post can’t be underestimated.

All social users are actually reviewers. A single tweet can damage a reputation if not managed correctly. Treat users with respect, earn their trust and build a relationship and they’ll broaden your brand awareness.

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Here’s a great example; I love Innocent Drinks’ Twitter feed.  It’s the brand I love to follow most. But this wasn’t always the case.

A number of years ago I was not happy and took to Twitter to voice my opinion on the issue. The reason I tweeted in the first place is irrelevant, it’s how they dealt with it that converted me from a #Hater to a #Lover. After I sent my anger-filled Tweet I immediately received a response from a human.

I hate those corporate FAQ copy and paste messages that some businesses opt for: they’re so impersonal, really cold and is actually a huge disappointment when you receive one. Whether you’re a start-up with one follower or Coca Cola with over three million followers, companies must be personal and strive to build a one to one relationship.

The guy running the Innocent Twitter account had clearly taken a look at my previous Tweets, realised we had a number of common interests (or so he said) and began a conversation with me.

This made me feel valued, he recognised that I could be a valuable brand ambassador and actually I do engage with Innocent on a regular basis (I even retweeted one of their posts while writing this blog).  Is it any surprise I frequently buy their products and share my experiences — I’m doing some of Innocent’s marketing  for them.

Innocent Drinks manage its profiles very well and about a year later when I was in conversation with another of their team members, I was happy to admit I’d become a fanboy when they followed me back.

Social community management is transparent, provides an opportunity to reach new audiences, showcase customer care, provide immediate customer support and receive fast feedback instantly.

Over and out.  George (the Innocent fanboy).

If you’d like to find out more about managing your online community you can tweet me @GeorgeROKnight or feel free to send me an email, you can find that below.

Chris Adams
chris@makehoney.com