On this page
- Listen to and monitor your customers on various social channels
- Create and schedule timely and meaningful content
- Know how to deal with negative situations or complaints
It's becoming more common for businesses and brands of all sizes to have a social media presence but one of the of the ongoing stumbling blocks is how to manage various social channels successfully.
Having to create and manage meaningful content for distribution via specific social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn can seem daunting, but being aware of few key principles will help you stay on top of your management.
Monitor and listen
Being active on social networks doesn’t always mean talking and engaging with others - monitoring the conversation taking place online is also important as it will help your business to keep an eye out for opportunities to connect with others and offer help or advice where needed, as well as any ‘red flags’ or emerging issues that might affect your brand such as a customer criticism or complaint.
Deal with criticism and complaints
Many businesses are scared to join social networks because they are afraid that 'someone will say something negative about us'. Well, the hard truth is if someone has got a ‘beef’ with your business, they will air their grievances on social media whether you’re on it or not. If you are active on social networking sites - if you are monitoring the conversation that’s going on around your brand, positively or negatively - you will be in a strong position to do something about it. Because many business-customer exchanges take place publicly on social networks, in full view of people who use the site, then how you deal with criticism will determine the outcome of the situation.
Below are some tips to manage a potentially negative situation better:
- acknowledge the person’s question, concern or criticism and make sure you do this in a timely manner
- if you haven’t got all the information at hand, tell them that - let the person know you will look into the matter right away and get back to them (and then ensure you do!)
- add to the dialogue - this could be by providing another resource, asking a relevant question or adding thoughts of your own
- always be professional, friendly and understanding without being patronising or critical. Put yourself ‘in the shoes’ of the customer, your behaviour is a reflection of your brand.
It’s worth remembering the point of a business being on social media is to engage with the public and encourage comments, rather than close people down.
Good timing and scheduling
Social media marketing will take time and effort if you are to do it properly and with purpose. Being an active member of the online social community requires your staff to show up regularly - to listen, monitor, respond, engage and add value.
There are ways and means of streamlining your involvement. There are many free and paid tools such as Saleforce and Hootsuite that will allow you to manage both publishing your content to various social channels, and to manage conversations that occur around your brand or business online.
Know your keywords and improve SEO
When it comes to SEO what worked 12 to 18 months ago - even six months - might not necessarily work today. Google has made it clear on more than one occasion that its search engine will favour high quality and relevant content that people want. So the message is crystal clear: publish content that people are interested in, that they will link to and share with others via social networks. Google will then take this as a sign the content has ‘authority’ and (hopefully) will rank it favourably for the keywords contained within it.
What are the keywords and phrases you want your business to be known for? What are the questions your customers are asking (Googling)? Start strategically and consistently adding these words and phrases to the content you produce and share, marking it up in your content marketing plan.
Find out more about improving your SEO and keyword research.
Google+ - Google’s ‘social layer’
Google has started to integrate its social network Google+ across everything it does, and search is a key factor at play here.
If you’re a business that relies heavily on search engine traffic for new leads, then you should be considering having a Google+ Business Page. This is especially the case if you operate from physical premises i.e. cafe, restaurant, retailer etc.
Google Garage offers free training to help you make the most of online opportunities including modules to decide what social media platforms are right for your business, set goals, get noticed on social media, measure your success and avoid pitfalls.