Ah, the life of a social media manager. You work endlessly to elicit a tweet, a like, a repin or a comment from your audience. From morning until night you craft content targeted towards your audience, and strategically schedule content to publish on social media at the perfect time.
While the work is tiresome and constant, there is something that makes this job worthwhile: audience engagement. Having your audience engage with your content or posts means that you drew out an emotion or action from individuals in your market.
Receiving the type and amount of engagement you wanted is an exhilarating feeling, so celebrate accordingly! However, as every social media manager or administrator knows, once you receive the intended interaction the job isn’t done (then again, this job is never done!)
Yay! Your audience interacted with your social media post. Well, now what?
Now it’s time for the oh-so-scary response.
As with most things in life, there’s two main ways to respond to your fan:
- The Wrong Way — also known as ignoring or poorly responding to your audience.
- The Right Way — also known as properly responding to your audience.
Of course, it’s not that easy. Each option breaks down into multiple components. Let’s explore, shall we?
Ignore or Poorly Respond to Your Audience
Whether you know it or not, there are multiple ways to ignore your audience. Aside from not responding, canned messages, responding in retaliation, or avoiding the fan’s question are all easy ways to give your audience the cold shoulder.
Thank you for taking the time to express your concerns. All of us here at ABC Company really appreciate it! We’ll send your concern to our department where it has a 90% chance of not being seen, resolved or taken care of.
I’m not sure what’s worse — canned food or canned messages.
Canned messages have a time and a place. When your social media account or brand encounters some type of rare emergency such as a data breach, or if your page receives a lot of traffic with product concerns, then I understand using canned/prewritten messages.
On the other hand, if you use a canned response for every single comment or engagement responses, you’re digging yourself a very deep hole.
I bet (actually, I hope and strongly encourage) that your brand has a finely tuned personality, which is portrayed via your social media channels. Unless your brand is known for being lazy and impersonal, it’s in your best interest to avoid using canned responses unless absolutely necessary.
Retaliating a Rude or Unwarranted Fan Comment
Sometimes fans either do not agree with something your brand posted, or simply have nothing nice to say at all. It’s easy to get frustrated and upset at a negative comment or interaction from a fan, but that does not warrant an unprofessional response.
As a social media manager and/or administrator, you have to keep in mind that you represent a brand. Therefore, what you say and do under that account will reflect the brand personality, morals and company as a whole.
Instead of spiraling into a whirlwind of emotions and lashing out as a result of a negative fan comment, follow these five steps:
- Take a deep breath
- Snap out of it
- Take a step back and think rationally
- Carefully craft a response
- Respond in a timely manner
Avoiding the Question
Avoiding your fans is just as bad as using a canned response. In fact, you can even consider using a canned response as the equivalent of avoiding the question.
The fact is, your audience has a question or a concern, and your brand owes them an answer. Even if it’s a simple yes or no answer, responding still shows your audience that you care.
Properly Responding to Social Media Engagement
Now the fun part!
When you respond properly to your social media engagement, great things happen. Seriously, great things.
Use Your Voice
While you could pick up the phone and call a social media fan (even though a bit odd), that’s not what I’m talking about.
Your brand has a personality, and therefore a voice. When responding to your audience, make sure this voice resonates! Need an example? Check out these brands on social media!
Waiting forever to respond to engagement is a big no-no. How would you like it if you asked me a question face to face, and I stared at you for a solid 4 hours without a response?
While you have a bit of a buffer time for responding to customers on social media, you do have to respond in a reasonable amount of time. Waiting days and weeks? No. In fact, according to a 2,000 person poll completed by NM Incite, 83% of Twitter users and 71% of Facebook users expect a customer service response from a brand within the day. On top of that, more than 50% of Twitter users expect a response within 2 hours.83% of Twitter users and 71% of Facebook users expect a customer service response from a brand within the day.
While a simple yes, no or thank you will suffice as a response, go the extra mile! Providing your audience with a thorough and well-thought out response will prove that you care about their concern and/or insight. Don’t forget to continue the conversation if possible.
Be A Human
Seriously, no one likes talking to robots.
Here’s that brand personality topic again.
When talking to your audience, make sure your response proves that a living, breathing human is responding to their engagement. Your audience will continue interacting with your brand and social media channels if they know they are engaging with an actual human.
Thanks to the world of technology and innovation, we can receive reminders, notifications and updates to our email, phones and other devices. If you are in charge of responding to fans online, you better have some notification system set up. Remember the tip about being timely? Notifications will help you do so!
Receiving online engagement from your fans is a marvelous thing. But what you do after the fact will make or break your brand.
We get it. Social media is stressful, especially for a business owner. Let us take the burden off your shoulders! Contact Titan Web Marketing Solutions today to learn more about our social media services.