The Importance of Being Good Company on Social Media
Social media is like Friday night drinks with the girls. You’re interacting with people you actually like, then out of the blue, some guy comes up with a bad pickup line. At best, it’s harmless and you ignore him. At worst, he’s annoying and you tell him to crawl back to the cave from which he emerged. It’s the same thing on Twitter or Facebook. I’m having genuine conversations with my friends. And when I see glaringly promotional things on my timeline, I treat them like terrible pickup lines. If they’re not good company, they’re unwelcome.
So, how can you be good company?
Make the Internet More Interesting
Publish content that adds value to your audience and industry; it can be educational, inspirational, or thought-provoking. Think about sites like Buzzfeed or Humans of New York — their content creates an environment that people naturally gravitate toward.
Buzzfeed posts guaranteed snarkiness and quirky entertainment. HONY shares heart-warming anecdotes and beautiful images. What’s your “thing”? To belong, you need to have your own quality — quirkiness, sentimental, or otherwise — and reinforce it with all of your content. The result will be an online space that people want to come back to.
Publish content that adds value to your audience and industry; it can be educational, inspirational, or thought-provoking.
Answer the Question… Quickly
If someone reaches out to you on Twitter with an inquiry, your first reply needs to be an answer. It can’t be anything else. No generic links. No “please check back later.” Do your best to provide answers. If you don’t have an answer, go find it. Today’s consumers are used to getting responses from brands, so set yourself apart by giving responses that are actually valuable and in reasonable timeframe. If you’ve got 200k followers, it can’t take you days to respond.
Do the Legwork
I recently won tickets to a Justin Timberlake concert through MasterCard’s #PriclessSurprises campaign. When JT postponed the show, a representative from MasterCard called to notify me of the change (they asked for my # through DM). They also reserved seats for me to his next performance and left my tickets at will call. What did I have to do? Show up.
In an era full of “call our 1-800 number for assistance,” MasterCard treated me like a VIP and it certainly made a great impression.
Set yourself apart by giving responses that are actually valuable and in reasonable timeframe.
Show Some Empathy
Sometimes frustrated people just need a shoulder to lean on. They want to voice their feelings and know someone understands. Show your customers that you understand, by showing that you’re listening. This means deviating from templated responses. Be apologetic when appropriate — “We’re sorry that happened to you,” and show empathy — “I understand shipping can sometimes can be frustrating.”
Don’t Obsess Over Revenue
Look at your business goals, then see how social fits into the big picture. That’ll determine the direction of your social media content strategy. Maybe it is a great way for your company to make sales. Maybe it’s not. But if you only look at social as a way to directly generate revenue, then you shouldn’t be on social.
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