In a few weeks, our social media team will be conducting our annual review. This is where we looked at what social media worked, what didn't, and what we need to improve on. It's one of my favorite things to do since it helps realign our social media content with our organization's mission.
Of course, we don't just evaluate only one time a year. We're always evaluating what we do and how we could do it better. One way we do this is by asking ourselves three questions about our social media. These three questions force us to make sure we're following some social media basics and make adjustments accordingly. Here are the questions we ask:
1. Are You Telling Stories?
Storytelling is hard. I know, because one my previous jobs was vetting scripts. I became good enough that when I got to the third or fourth page I could tell if we had something worth filming. I always felt bad for someone whose script was rejected, because I knew the time commitment put into writing a script.
Why is storytelling hard? First, it requires you to think through the big picture. How is the content connected to your business and its overall vision? Does the content fit within the overall narrative of your marketing?
Second, storytelling requires you to edit. You have to determine what to cut and what to keep. Think of it like being a movie producer. A good producer will help cut the movie in such a way that tightens the story, but still keeps the director's vision. If you're going to tell a good story you have to be willing to edit your content down to the essentials, but still tell the story.
Finally, storytelling pushes you to move beyond just rehashing marketing bullet points. It's easy to grab marketing talking points and tweet out the product benefits. Storytelling is different, it requires planning (i.e. a social media content calendar), emotionally connecting with your audience, and moving beyond just rehashing marketing talking points.
2. Are You People-Centric?
I think one of the most overused words in social media for businesses is the word "we". For example:
We're glad you liked product x..
We would like you to...
Think about it for a moment, who is "we"? The use of the term "we" in the above statements makes sense when you see someone face to face (i.e. at physical store location), but when it's a social media account using that term, it lacks the personal context. From the social media audience's point of view that "we" can be anyone from your company posting content. It can make your company seem faceless.
So how do you avoid this? Well, first you need to multiple employees to engage on social media. When your employees engages on social media, you have an army of people or "faces" to make your social media people-centric. Imagine one of your potential customers has a question on social media, what it would look like to have your employees respond versus your company's account? I would imagine that for the potential customer a response from an actual employee would seem more personable than one from your company's account.
3. Are You Listening?
Most people expect some sort of response on social media. If I was to tweet at Southwest Airlines because my flight is late, I'm certain that I'll receive a response from them. While Southwest may not solve my problem, I know I'll get a response.
However, what's really impressive is when someone is not only responding to tweets but anticipating my needs and listening to me. For example, If I had been tweeting about my upcoming flight on Southwest and they knew that my flight was going to be late, what if they tweeted at me to let me know my flight was late or offered to book me a hotel?
Obviously you can't monitor your customers 24/7 on social media, but we do need to plan to set aside time to create impactful moments for customers.
Reviewing your social media is a something you need to be doing a consistent basis. Set aside some time each month to review your content and ask the questions above to make sure you company's social media is headed in the direction.
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