(read time – 4 mins)
Social media gives fans, followers, users and customers of a brand, twenty-four hour access to communicate directly with it. Incoming messages can be requests, questions or feedback – all worthy of a response to make customers (or potential customers) feel validated. Positive messages can be used for marketing, sales leads or product development, all of which are essential for brands. Negative messages can be used the same way, but there is more urgency to respond due to the effect negative publicity can have. If you are part of a larger business or agency you may have staff rostered around the clock to monitor the brands you manage, if not, it’s important to have processes in place to be on alert. Here are some ways to make sure you know each time there is activity you need to know about across your social media networks.
This is the easiest way to know what is happening online to your brand however smartphone notifications are often turned off in the frustration of daily life. As more and more apps want to get noticed in your pocket we all need a break from the beeps and buzzing – but social managers and agencies can’t afford to miss a thing. Most social media apps have different settings so it take the time to go through and make sure that you are getting the notifications you need. Facebook for example allows Pages to send notifications whenever specific actions occur. Select those actions that you need to be alerted to and customise as the data you need receive.
Smartphone notifications need to be set so that alerts actually get noticed, choose sounds or beeps that will make you recognise when your brand is being engaged with.
Social media monitoring or ‘listening’ is essential for shielding your brand because it delivers results twenty-four hours a day. This has a broader scope than just scanning your own networks, it scans entire social platforms for mentions of your brand. Monitoring finds mentions even if they happen between people you have no connection to. You can set your own search terms such as your brand name and when people write about it you’ll find out. Most social media tools have built monitoring functionality and allow notifications to be sent in real time so you can gauge the context and response.
You can get notified and receive mentions of what’s happening to your brand on social networks, but unless you act quickly, you’re missing out on opportunities to protect and evangelise your brand. Social media is often the first point of contact for new customers and customer complaints. There need to be processes in place for fast responses to comments and inquiries. With the speed at which communication can happen people have high expectations for brands on social media and don’t want to be disappointed. Answer them quickly so any potential problems can be nipped in the bud or PR opportunities pounced upon. Social media is geared towards engagement, all the hard work developing content to generate interest in your brand can be lost if you don’t respond fast enough.
Personal attentions shows you care, this is the most important thing a brand can do for its customers. Social media allows a one to one connection between brands and members of the broader community. This one to one connection was usually reserved for humans in stores or on the phone, but now it is available to businesses in everyone’s pocket on their smartphone. It is possible to engage people in a very real way on social on media and in real time – agencies and marketers have never had it so good. This personal communication should be used to make visitors and queries feel special and validated. For example, in the B2B sector a quick LinkedIn search can help you understand your customer’s needs to be prepared, in B2C put yourself in your customer’s place and let your conscience be your guide.* It is all about taking an extra couple of minutes to make it personal. First impressions last and people talk a LOT on social media so treat every interaction as a potential customer. Use people’s names, be respectful, offer advice, be honest and be fair. The same rules as if you were speaking to someone in person.
These three tactics will shield your brand online and if you have other methods please add them in the comments below. If you need help implementing any of these strategies mentioned please contact us at ZoomSphere.com.
*Unless you have a terrible conscience – then get someone else to do it!