We’ve written about it over and over, and we see it happening again and again; brands get excited about the concept of social media marketing, fire up a few branded channels, and start posting all kind of stuff about their products, services, and what have you.
What many unfortunately neglect is paying attention to the details. There’s a whole lot more to social media marketing than plastering content all over the web. And this is where social media marketing becomes – as we keep saying – time-consuming, demanding, and expensive.
Here are some tasks that are an integral part of social media marketing, and that no brand can afford to do without. And if these are deemed as excessively demanding, our recommendation would be to forget the whole notion of social media marketing all together.
Read as much as you post (if not more)
Social media marketing is all about sharing quality content. Content that is worth the time your followers will take to read and share what you’re sharing with them.
It’s relatively easy to come up with ample content at the out-start, but it becomes a challenge down the line. The best way to keep getting inspired to write new articles and content is to follow peers, thought-leaders, and similar pages or blogs.
This doesn’t mean that you have to copy and paste what others write. But as it goes with ideas, one thing leads to another and before you know it you have laid the foundation for a fresh article.
Monitor your channels and the web
There’s a group on Facebook called “Customer Service Jordan”. This group is quite active, and open to all who desire to share their customer experiences with particular brands.
While some posts praise the great service users have experienced, the vast majority of posts are real complaints about bad customer service people have encountered recently. And once someone posts a complaint, others are quick to jump in and contribute with their own bad experiences they’ve had with the same brand.
Yet, none of the brands we’ve seen getting bashed seemed to have bothered to monitor this group which has over 1,000 followers. It’s not a large number really, but when you factor in the collective number of friends and followers that get to see the comments made by the common connections, it grows exponentially.
Whether only a few read a complaint or tens of thousands, brands need to monitor all channels, groups, forums, and other mediums they may be mentioned in. Sure, this is a ton of work, but hey, who ever said that social media marketing was easy?
Convert complaints into opportunities
Going back to our previous point and the fact that public complaints are eventually inevitable, the good news is that an opportunity is always present, even in the most dire cases of online bashing.
Some of the brands that have been complained about in the group we mentioned above have been tagged by other users to alert them about a growing discussion that basically focuses on how bad their service was. And we’ve seen some of these taking corrective actions and by that – turning the whole dialogue around toward a very positive outcome with the original plaintiff thanking the brand openly for the excellent efforts and customer service the’ve just received.
Keep in mind, when people complain openly they do so mostly out of frustration. They’re not really after hurting a brand. They just want to enjoy the value of the product or service they purchased, and when in-store complaints don’t work, they revert to online (public) complaints.
So once their problems are solved – which is all they wanted from the start – people are usually not stingy with praise and will acknowledge the attention and care they received publicly. Imagine the impact of such an acknowledgment on all the others that have been following the thread!
Educate and don’t push sales
One thing you can never do on your social media channels is pushing sales. People don’t want to be sold. They want to be engaged, and they want to be educated. Yet, many channels post nothing more than daily pitches about this product or that service. This is the exact opposite of what people would want to read about on your channels.
Everybody wants to sell of course, but you’ve got to go about it extremely subtly. You can for example talk about the particular reasons and benefits users purchase a product/ service category for, and which of course you carry.
The idea is for followers to perceive you as a figure of authority/ knowledge in this particular field, and by that develop a solid degree of trust with your brand. Now once they are ready to make a purchase, they will most probably visit your channel again, click to your website from there, and then make a purchase either online or by visiting your store.
Never lose the human touch
There’s nothing more annoying than these static scripts so many social media channels use to respond to online complaints or comments. The usual reaction of many is to immediately take the discussion to the inbox. (Why? It’s already out there in public. Why not let the other followers see now how you go about handling customer complaints?)
When dealing with customers and their complaints, forget about scripts. People are contacting you through your social media channels to talk to a real human. Someone who can actually help them in resolving their problems. The last thing they want is an automated script that doesn’t apply half the time it’s used.
About the Author
Pinnacle Business & Marketing Consulting is a results-driven boutique consulting firm that specializes in providing clients with practical and pragmatic solutions to their business and marketing challenges. Website | Facebook | Twitter
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