Is Your Brand a Great Social Media Conversationalist?
In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.
Enter social media and it turns out Andy was right. And then some.
Our customers are far from nobodies. They’re broadcasted continually across the World Wide Web. Some more notorious than others, but virtually all accessible.
We are now able to get closer to our customers than ever before. To build personal relationships through the art of conversation. Businesses large and small are engaging their customers in digital dialogue to build relationships, solicit feedback and provide new levels of customer service.
The nature of relationships is reciprocal, however, and so as we get to know them, customers too have the opportunity to get intimate with our brands. So how do we put our best foot forward in this global conversation to charm our powerful friends?
Here are some tips to help your brand master the art of great social media conversation.
Listen first. Talk later.
A great conversationalist listens carefully before speaking. You wouldn’t jump into a face to face conversation without first listening to what it’s about. So before you unleash a barrage of tweets or status updates, take some time to monitor the conversations that are already taking place.
Take stock of where your brand currently stands online. Find out what people are already saying about your brand and about your competitors and who is doing the talking.
Converse, don’t sell.
The golden rule that businesses must remember is that the social media environment is just that; Social. Users join a social network for entertainment and human interaction. It’s quite unlikely they’ll be happy to hear your blatant sales pitch.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t let your fans or followers know about special offers, new products or store openings from time to time, but refrain from constant or pushy sales messages. Instead, show you care by ensuring your contributions are useful and interesting.
Always be yourself.
The key to building successful relationships is maintaining open and honest dialogue. Social media provides a fantastic opportunity connect with customers and prospects on a personal level. Let them know what your brand stands for.
Internally, ensure that all employees who will speak on behalf of your brand are aware of the appropriate brand personality and tone of voice that should be used. A clear strategy and policies are vital.
Balance quality with quantity.
A well-balanced conversation is a good conversation. Find the happy place between talking too much and awkward silence.
Fewer more valuable contributions speak far louder than constant or pointless babble, so don’t go overboard with the updates, messages or tweets. On the other hand, it’s best to avoid awkward silence. Once you make the commitment to get social, make sure you participate on a regular basis.
Never ignore your fans or followers or delete their comments. Awkwardness always ensues, and it’s unlikely to involve silence. Remember negative noise can spread quickly so diffuse any negativity before it escalates.
Don’t be a bore.
Our final tip needs little explanation. Remember that your brand is entering a social environment, so it’s important to be respectful of this. Strategically charm your community with relevant games, engaging applications and useful information.
By mastering the above, your brand can become a valuable participant in social media conversations. Be strategic and you’ll have personal access to your most loyal customers and brand advocates. Although social media isn’t meant for explicitly pushing sales, it does provide an opportunity to let your brand personality shine. Become a brand of choice, and sales will follow.