First and foremost, social media is a digital tool that facilitates communication between people. It’s a powerful tool, but only when you properly employ it, can you find success for your business through its use. Social media management for businesses is often poorly thought out leading to an unmanageable set of platforms for a business. This can lead to disasters for those organizations that communicate poorly, and critical failures for those who fail to engage at all.
Social media is, at its root, the latest expression of a core human behavior we are all familiar with; the forming of relationships. Humans, as animals, are inherently social in nature and work cooperative to achieve common goals. Whether these goals are something as basic as common safety, or a more complex endeavor such as landing on the moon, our social connectivity allows us to move these projects forward. For that reason, relationships are an incredibly important part of everything we do in our lives, whether online, offline.
We want to engage individuals on an individual level when acting through social media to communicate a business goal or resolve a complaint. However, we also want to foster this social interaction and understanding to build a self-supporting community of people with similar interests relevant to your business. Through the facilitation of the construction of this sort of community we can meet our business objectives, while protecting our image from external detractors.
The most effective way to protect your corporate image online is to have an effective set of checks in place before any communication goes out through social channels either with your internal team, or via your agency. Remember, communicating effectively requires an understanding of tone, awareness of current events, and conscious knowledge of cultural norms. If you feel unsure about a post or ad, be sure to find a qualified expert to check it over before it goes live.
When a customer enters a shop, they expect to be served with respect, courtesy, and to be able to ask questions of a well-informed staff person about the items the shop carries. These same expectations transfer to the digital environment of social media interaction. A misstep in tone or with regards to current events can lead to a problem. This example offers a window in to some best practices for us in terms of managing this important digital marketing channel.
Also, having a person who is qualified to given relevant, well-structured to all the questions that may be posed by users though Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other platform is a key factor when looking to increase engagement. Engagement is the true measure of success on social media, and if your replies to user’s queries seemed uninformed or are simply wrong, it can have a negative effect on your entire business’ online reputation. This is because these interactions are public. Interactions in a social marketing space are often more numerous than those in real life, but if you wouldn’t shout at someone in person, you shouldn’t do it online. Be well informed, well spoken, and mannerly and you shouldn’t have any issues managing this channel.
It may feel like social media is like shouting in to the abyss and we need to be aware of how we are saying something, who we are talking to, and be respectful.