Many businesses are quite confused about social media. Most are reluctant to use it for reasons best known to them, some are treating it like a website i.e. they open their fan page or profiles on various networks and that’s it. Still others are treating it like a one way broadcast to those who care to listen; they are not really engaging with the followers.
From a customer point of view the first two categories are acceptable; they are as good as not being there. It is the third category the customers have expectations from and perhaps the one which lets them down.
Social media provides for a two way communication and that is what users of the social media expect from the other users/businesses. If one continues to use it for marketing his products, services or himself without paying any attention to what others have to say, you can rest assured that soon you won’t have anyone listening to you either.
Conversation is an art and not everyone can handle it well. Therefore it is important that the person responsible for social media is not only good at producing engaging content but also be able to continue the conversation when someone responds. For this the person should understand the business lest you want him to run to the concerned department every time there is a comment.
Every business owner will tell you that Customer is the King, but somehow on the social media the kings are reduced to just another number. That is the surest way to loose a customer. If your purpose of getting on to the social media is to attract new audiences and retain the existing ones you must follow the basic rules of engagement.
When a customer likes your page or starts following you, consider it as a customer walking into your showroom or shop. Welcome him with open arms and thank him for following or liking you.
When a person comments on an update or your blog post, think about it as a direct dialogue with your business. If it is a question, answer his concern by providing the requisite information. If it is a compliment thank him, if it is a statement think of it like a feedback and thank him. If it is a complaint, try to resolve it or guide him to the requisite department. Understand that the person has taken the time and effort to comment on your page/wall and it needs to be acknowledged, to say the least.
Doing this much will at least not put off the person and will probably encourage him to come back or continue following you. Conversely, if you do not respond, the person ends up thinking that he is not important enough for you and we all know what his next step would be.
Respect your followers/fans and do not let your ego take over. Unless it is spam, which can be deleted straightaway, it does not matter whether the person has not understood your update, the language is incorrect, or he does not seem as an important lead. You have to respond. That, is the beginning of engagement.
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