As social media becomes more deeply intertwined with PR efforts, I’ve been spending a lot more time reviewing and engaging on several social channels. Spending hours scouring Pinterest for work? Well, I don’t mind if I do!
At times, this doesn’t feel much like work, but that shouldn’t undermine its importance. The way you manage your company’s social media accounts can have a big impact on the brand. A recent post on the UberVU blog (that I admittedly stole from our own social media guru, Paul Balcerak – thanks Paul!) addresses the importance of using social media to establish a relationship between your brand and its audiences. Here are a few of the highlights that are important for us all to remember when managing a brand’s online community:
Respond to and engage with your followers. It’s difficult to engage with a brand that doesn’t engage with you. Social media, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., is not a platform for you to simply broadcast news. It’s about harnessing a relationship that requires a two-way dialogue. Engaging with consumers even when the conversation may not demand immediate attention lets your audience know you’re there, available and interested in what they have to say. In turn, this will generate more fans and followers.
Demonstrate empathy. Hiding behind a computer or under a company name can make it easy to slip into a habit of not behaving how you typically would if you were interacting face-to-face. When consumers come to you with a complaint or express anger on your social pages, think about how you would respond if you were a close friend. Listen, express empathy and try to help resolve the issue if appropriate and applicable. Getting defensive or ignoring the comments will do anything but defuse the issue.
Be Informed. On social, your news and opinions are being broadcasted out to a broad network of consumers. And, as a brand, your audience is looking to you to be an expert in your industry. So, make sure you’re well in-formed on the latest issues, news announcements and developments relevant to your brand and appropriately share updates with your followers. Props to Whole Foods Market on nailing this one!
So here’s a cheers to better engagement and more fans, which I think we can all agree that we enjoy both on and off of social media.