Stumbled across this article today and thought, “Wow, what a great thought.”
I’m a social media coordinator. What does that mean? Well, I am glued to Facebook and Twitter all day, and that answer seems so silly. I have friends asking me all the time, “do you ever work?” What they don’t realize is that online communication is my work. I am responsible for creating conversations with fans and followers for various brands, which is a lot more than what everyone expects.
To be a social media professional, you need to immerse yourself in the brand. The industry is constantly changing, and social media professionals need to be aware of that at all times. You can only become better by living and breathing social media and the brands you support. Without the ability to admit faults, take on the brand persona and strategically interact with the audience, you, your brand and your social media profiles will suffer. Creative, personable and motivated individuals make the strongest social media professionals, regardless of age.
Sure, I do watch Facebook for notifications all day. I do sit on Twitter and find the perfect things to retweet. But believe it or not, there is a strong strategy behind that. Social Media for business is a strategic, prepared, well-discussed process. It’s about relating to the customer. No one wants to talk to a social media coordinator. They want to talk to someone who knows, loves and lives the brand. They want a response that they can understand, not some corporate talk. They want to be told about the great deals you have, show the great things you sell and become FRIENDS with your brand. Anyone can create a standard “Thanks for the reply” post. Anyone can refer your complaint to management, but it takes a true social media expert to interact and converse with customers.
Still not getting it? Let’s use a few examples:
Jeremiah Weed not only converses with their fans – they listen. The social media genius behind this idea realized that it’s not just about talking – it’s about listening. Through a spur of YouTube videos, Jeremiah Weed took their fans submissions for how they drink their vodka, and created these drinks for all to see. How cool would you feel knowing that you have a drink named after you? Pretty damn cool.
Say it isn’t so! The beloved toy company truly disappointed me with their social media efforts. Not only was their response extremely generic, but it was removed from the page! How are people going to communicate with your brand if you don’t leave their posts up? Which brings me to one of the most important business practices in social media…
People will always complain. You can address their problems, or ignore it. In the case above, it was not only ignored, but deleted. Social media has a strong following, and any negativity can be passed quickly. Ignoring a post won’t make it go away – it will just anger the customer further, so that they do not recommend your place, and make sure that their problem is heard. A better example of how to treat this to follow.
Like I said – no brand is perfect, and social media is a great way to address that. However, it needs to BE addressed. By addressing the problem publicly, you not only please the upset customer, but other fans can see that you truly care about the customer experience, and are not afraid to admit your flaws (as long as they are quickly corrected!)
Strategically interacting with fans, followers and the like is the most important aspect of social media, and those professionals who provide these services know it.