Laura Miller, director of marketing at KioWare Kiosk Software, explains how every brand can keep its social media game on point
Those of us who work with social media on a daily basis often get caught up in “doing” and forget some of the basics to help expand audience, reach and generate brand interaction.
Here are a few reminders for even the most seasoned social media expert.
1. Be relevant
– Speak to those inside of your circles (partners & customers), as well as outside of your circles. Involve others who are in your local area, your industry, the press, or peripheral markets. KioWare Kiosk Software did this with an episode of a television program that featured a kiosk.
Remember to follow and involve your brand in conversations such as those surrounding relevant trends, conferences, events, daily trends.
Be careful to stay true to your brand and message. In one case, Best Buy tweeted on a trending hashtag (#Serial), without considering that Serial is a podcast about a murder and that the flippant comment might come off as crass and tone-deaf. The backlash was harsh and immediate.
– Find what your top users/customers are chatting about and join the conversion.
– Do not discuss politics, religion, controversial events, or even perhaps, sports teams, unless your business is firmly and publicly affiliated and unless you can risk alienating a portion of your audience if they disagree.
2. Be authentic
– Discuss those things that are relevant to your audience. Be helpful. Be real. Be honest. If you are genuinely trying to solve problems and hear what your customers are saying, they will value your input, product, service, and brand.
Qatar Airways shows personality and leverages their sponsorship of a football club while appealing to their audience, also football fans. They post things their fans care about, building their brand authentically. Qatar Airways clearly has dedicated staff responding to Facebook posts, questions, and complaints, as evidenced by the speedy reply to comments and questions.
3. Be responsive
– When someone asks a question about your product or service, or writes/tweets/posts about your product or service (in the positive or the negative), be sure to recognize their post and address their concerns. Use the opportunity to show your personality, service, values, or humanity. Sainsbury’s did this with a “punny” customer.
– Know the difference between attention seekers with illegitimate or unredeemable experiences, and truly concerned customers who want their issues to be addressed. In both cases, thank them for their feedback and attempt to resolve the issue. In the former case, you will want to stop responding to public shaming and anger, as it gives them more air time. In the case of the later, you can easily convert them from a critic to a resounding advocate. Amy’s Baking Company famously lost it online with this interchange with customers. It escalated from there when a simple apology and silence would have silenced their critics, or at least not turned it into a PR debacle.
Customer complaints can be addressed seriously, or, if well done (as with Dominoe’s Pizza), with humour.
4. Be present
– If you don’t log in and check your social media communities on a regular basis (or use social media notifications and scheduled posting), you are not present in the discussions, and your absence may well be damaging.
– Automation can be your biggest enemy. When something happens in the news, it is important to think of your queued social media and delete or pause any messages which may be considered insensitive or in poor taste. Posting scheduled emails despite a changing national or international situation is a clear sign to your audience that you are not actually a “present” and “sentient” human being. In the aftermath of a mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado, American Rifleman (NRA_Rifleman) likely forgot to pause or delete this automated tweet. Though they quickly deleted the tweet, the damage was done and screenshots were already taken to immortalise the faux pas.
5. Be selective
– As with most things, you can’t be all things to all people. If you do not have the time to do each of the things above on 20 different social media platforms, you will want to select those that have the most targeted audience, the most loyal of your customers, and the most relevant conversations. Pick the wrong social media platform, or use it incorrectly, and you’ll annoy and agitate instead of impressing and benefitting.
6. Be Careful
– Know about what you are tweeting and what each hashtag means before tweeting.
– Respond with care so as not to inflame customers or increase negative press. DiGiorno’s Pizza did not realize the meaning of the trending topic #WhyIStayed (domestic abuse) and used it in a frivolous tweet.
Read more at http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk