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Why Time Is of the Essence When Responding to Facebook Fans
Posted on February 10th 2012
This was one of the questions asked during a conversocial survey, facilitated through the New York University and its Assistant Professor Liel Leibovitz, Assistant Professor of Communications. The survey - sent out online - was returned by 513 respondents and covered 9 questions - all around customer satisfaction with corporate attitudes on social business sites. The results are somehow shocking considering a majority of businesses still don't know
- how to answer complaints, suggestions or questions on their profile pages
- how fast to answer (in the best case scenario) or even not answering as well
- which tone to use when crafting the social response
- ISSUE: ANSWER PROMPTLY - Respond in a timely manner, which does not mean "ehmmm...I am getting to this posted issue tomorrow, when I have more time"- - No, you need to be on the ball and, similar to inbound leads generation, time is and will be always of the essence to satisfy a disgruntled consumer. In case you are having cable at home and using Comcast - just try to post a tweet with the #Comcast, and I guarantee you - the Comcast monitoring team will address the issue in less than 15 minutes, and I found myself praising their response time in my follow-up tweet. I suggest in case you do not have the workforce support and manpower to shoot for not less than 2 hours in responding to a Facebook or Twitter thread.
- ISSUE: REAL PERSON - Similar are the bad habits of automating tweets "thanking you for following me. I hope we can connect once-a-while" responding to your new fans and followers. There is no excuse for a generic message sent to a complaint "poster" or "question-asking fan". This "no-no" tactic won't help you in the long-run and you just HAVE TO put a live person on the keyboard and manage threads - one by one, with the attempt - or let's say "mission" - to read through the complaint and address it spot on. A real person posted something - isn't it just common courtesy to have a real person responding?
- ISSUE: RELEVANT CONTENT - Please stop practicing the old habits of push marketing, what we have known since the birth of advertising and marketing 1,000's of years ago - nobody really cares any longer in the DVR and TIVO decades. Due to the noise we already experiencing now in Social Media networking as well the customer not giving a flying &%$#@! that you have a 2009 Toyota Corolla with low mileage on your lot, or that your inflated rooftop Gorilla will stay one more week at your location to alert you of the sale. The consumer's answer in the survey is stating it loud and clear, "share unique content, which she won't find anywhere else on your business website or web"! Please read on this issue one of the prior posts "How often is too often when posting on social networks?". So - think about your unique value propositions, which every business should have. What can you really share? What will make you stand out, unique and worthwhile for the consumer to initiate or maintain further contact with you? Call in a meeting and asked your staff, survey existing customers what made them tick to actually doing business with you.
- ISSUE: KEEP ME POSTED - Yes, you read right....consumers actually want to hear about your promotions, which means NOT to spam them day-in and day-out about your "December to Remember Event" - I guarantee you, they remember for sure who clocked up their news stream on their Facebook timeline - and I am confident they won't buy a car from you. When you want to promote a sales event please make sure you are not taking a shotgun approach and blast just the plain phrases all over, but dissect it like we all did during Junior HS time with a frog - don't butcher around - find the heart (the core message of your ad with concrete numbers on a lease or similar), separate it from the rest and give it the most attention - post it uniquely and not anywhere else on your off- and on-line marketing material. MAKE IT UNIQUE for your followers and give them the idea of "VIP" treatment only they have received being a Facebook friend of yours.