Alright y’all: Today, let’s keep this short ‘n’ sweet. I’ll go over Twitter Chats next week as well as a few other fun engagement tips but this week, let’s take a breather and focus on an obvious (but no less important) side of engagement: Responding!
I briefly mentioned a bit about responding to comments in Engagement 102 but I think it’s important to go a bit more in-depth. Conversations are critical for socialization and as I’ve said before, social media is social, even as a business.
This means that you need to do more than just talk at people. You need to not only listen but also respond. On a personal level, this doesn’t mean that you need to individually thank every single one of the 150 “friends” who wished you a happy birthday on your timeline. A simple “like” of acknowledgement should suffice or even a blanket-thank you status, if you’re really lazy. However, if you’re scrolling through your birthday wishes and you see that someone – maybe an aunt you haven’t seen in a while – has asked how you’re doing, what you’re up to, or who the girl in your profile picture is, you might want to actually respond. After all, it’d be rude to ignore that, right?
The same rule applies as a business. If you can keep that conversation going, do it. You never know what might come of it. Plus, it shows your customer that you care. As an added bonus, you may even gain some insight on your audience. I’d say that’s a win-win.
All that said, here are my rules of interacting:
Respond quickly, but be thorough.
This is where you may get annoyed with budgeting your time. Responding quickly (mostly in the case of a negative comment or review) looks really good to your audience. It shows that you’re listening and making an effort, without making them wait forever.
As a bonus, it also gives you a better chance to keep the conversation going! You know what this means? You’re furthering that relationship and opening up the doors to build more.
Please. Don’t be a robot.
I repeat: Social media is social! It’s conversational. You may be a business but you’re still a human, talking to other humans. So check your spelling and grammar but don’t forget who you’re talking to.
To aid this, use first names. Address your audience by their first name but also sign off (should you choose to) with yours as well.
Don’t be selfish; Everyone LOVES recognition.
Highlighting your own content is definitely important but sharing content from other outlets can be humbling.
When you post a link on Facebook to a major publication (especially if it’s trending), your post will likely get a greater reach.
Make sure you tag & credit the original account to sustain loyalty and build trust, whether you’re sharing a link from the New York Times or a local mommy blogger. Tagging a major publication or account will also help your post reach because it will likely be added to peoples’ news feeds who follow both you and that page.
If you come across another small business or a blogger, sharing their content will boost their exposure and they’ll likely notice it and appreciate it.
Guess what? It’ll encourage them to like/share your content as well!
You may even consider chatting with them about partnering up on social. It’s very “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.”
So, what do you think? Social media can be a full-time job if you’re doing it right…are you up for the challenge?