A business can get maximum benefit from its social media channels when it approaches them with a clear purpose and strategy and the execution is founded in best practices.
That said, the daily task of dealing with social pages can become time-consuming as a business grows, and with that comes the possibility of making certain mistakes. One might feel like ignoring a comment or not responding to a mention, but that's not the best approach. Not being able to track brand mentions or missing crucial customer feedback can be detrimental to the performance of a business.
Whatever your larger strategy around social, a business needs to closely monitor its social pages.
Here are some dos and don'ts to help you with that.
DO have a dedicated person or team to monitor your channels
Social is always on, 24/7. This doesn't mean you need someone to keep those hours, but having an individual or a team responsible for monitoring your social media pages, even if just during business hours, is crucial.
Social media is a great way to promote content and generate engagement, both of which require the poster to interact with people. It requires presence of mind as well as an interest in others to make this possible.
Additionally, social pages are excellent tools for customer service. A patient, quick-minded, solutions-oriented person should be put in charge of social media pages to gain the most out of them. Social media is most successful when it's... well, social.
DO utilize social media management tools
In order to maximize their visibility on social channels, best practices encourage multiple posts a day. There is no magic number for this, but businesses may post up to 20 or more times a day across platforms.
Some of these tweets are automated. Some require live engagement. Given the flow of posts on social the person in charge of it might need help in the form of monitoring tools such as Hootsuite or Respond.
With Hootsuite, one can pre-schedule posts to appear certain times a day, monitor brand mentions across multiple platforms, as well as manage customer service. With Respond, too, one can keep track of the mentions, engage with customers, and improve their service.
A reliable monitoring tool considerably lessens the workload of the social media team, freeing up their energies to focus on generating engagement, interacting with followers and influencers, as well as addressing customer queries.
Your extra productivity is often well worth the cost of utilizing these social media tools.
DO respond to every engagement where possible
Engagement is the whole point of social media.
You want people to follow you, read your tweets, click on the links, consume your content, comment on it, etc.
This can be a slow process, which is why every comment, like, mention, or retweet is worth its weight in gold--especially in the initial stages of your business' social media growth.
If someone congratulates you for well-written content, thank them.
If someone shares your content, thank them.
If someone mentions you in a tweet, do check it out and thank if appropriate. In any case, respond accordingly.
If someone shares their experience in response to your tweet, thank them and acknowledge their point of view. Often the comment itself will give you an idea of what to post next.
Plus, every time you like or comment in response, you draw their attention back to your page again, and you create a better chance your post will show up in your follower's feeds. Engagement is the key to overcoming the Facebook algorithm that often prevents business posts from showing up in people's new feed.
DON'T lose your cool
This is about as big a DON'T as it can get. Businesses who lose their cool on social media have sometimes had their poor responses go viral. You don't want your company to be on the front page of the Internet for handling an interaction poorly.
We understand that social media managers are also humans and that irate, foul-mouthed, or downright mean customers can get on one's nerves - which is why it's important to keep the personal aside and always respond in a professional capacity.
DO acknowledge the other person's problem, apologize for the inconvenience caused, and quickly take the conversation offline if possible.
Keep asking questions to determine the nature of the problem and do your best to address it as soon as possible.
At no stage should the person in charge of responding to comments lose their cool. Doing so will not just further alienate the customer, it will also reflect badly on the business. Others can see these comments, too, and the last thing a business wants to appear is unprofessional or insensitive to the problems of its customers.
DON'T ignore questions or reviews
Reviews are gold and so is feedback. Thank people for taking out the time to review their experience with your business, but do not be selective in responding to reviews. Acknowledge all points of view, even the unflattering ones. Try to understand why someone had a less than desirable experience.
Similarly, be quick in addressing questions posed on your business pages. Promptness of the reply is key here. Only one user may have posed that question, but you can rest assured a number of others might have wondered about it.
When you respond to someone on social, you are not just responding to them but also talking to other readers. That information will be taken note of by everyone. If you don't bother to respond, your followers will notice that, too, and it will impact your brand image.
DON'T allow your page to be spammed
From time to time, people will post irrelevant things on your page. Often, they post with the guise of wanting to start a conversation, but with the end goal of linking and leading readers to some other site. They're trying to take advantage of your followers.
Be quick to address such links and posts. Leaving spammy posts on will reflect badly on your page (if not your business), thus turning away genuine posters. You also reserve the right to remove posts that aren't relevant to your business or are made in poor taste.
Keep calm and carry on
There are many stumbling blocks and challenges to avoid when launching your social media strategy. But with the help of the right tools and a thorough grounding in social media best practices, a brand can experience great success on social. Remember, consulting with a social media expert before launching your campaign can help you build a solid foundation and avoid pitfalls from the beginning.