March 5, 2013 | Comments | Tags: Lino Di Julio, Social Media, Solutions
Last month I talked about things that will cause even the brightest and most brilliantly thought out social media campaign to fail. Today, we’re going to spin that on its head and talk about how to do Social Media right. These are some generic rules that will generally apply to any campaign, and should always be in the back of your mind when engaging on a social media endeavour.
- Be Real: If we look at a lot of the social media endeavours out there you’ll notice one thing that is, frankly, a relic of yesteryear. Scripted responses. It is imperative that you not tie your hands behind your back in social media in terms of how you engage, be yourself. Be a little light hearted, and be playful. The whole point of social media is to have conversations with people and nobody wants to have a conversation with a robot. The more engaged, and down to earth you are, the more value you will derive from the interaction. If a potential, or existing, customer reads your tweet history you don’t want them to see what looks like a batch of scripted responses. What you want is for them to see a real person that has some personality.
- Research your prospect: If you’re pro-actively reaching out to people via social media, do some research. Last thing you want to do is reach out to a customer that you think is talking about your brand only to realize after you respond they were actually talking about something else entirely. (For example, Time Warner Cable reaching out to someone complaining about The Weather Channel because they hash tagged #TWC). Likewise, keep the person in mind too, odds are that a 18 year old college student is not interested in the same kind of engagement as a 45 year old business man. You can ascertain that information before hand in SM so take advantage.
- Be Fearless: One of the biggest mistakes people make in social media is that they do not engage the bad stuff. This is a huge missed opportunity. Unhappy customers can be turned around, and if you do it successfully you will reap huge dividends since the engagement is there in the public eye. Is there a line? Sure. Don’t try to persuade the crazies, but if you have someone saying something like this:@YourBrand is terrible; I’m NEVER recommending them to anyone!! #IHATEYOURBRAND Then odds are you have an opportunity to fix it and make it right, if you don’t engage the social sphere will take this to mean you don’t care.
- Follow-up: It’s not a “One and Done” medium, it requires follow-up and persistence, if you don’t have an answer right away for a customer on social media, find it and then follow-up. If you’re proactively reaching out and don’t get a response, it’s not all a loss, try again. Remember, there is a lot of junk on social media and sometimes a first engagement is ignored because the prospect might think that you’re just a bot.
- Track your work: I briefly considered putting this first it’s that important, but chose to go with the interaction pieces first, that said I cannot express just how important this. I will state plainly, if you do not have quality reporting you will never be successful in social media. There’s a few things you need to track at a minimum:
- Number of Engagements
- Number of responses
- Number of conversations that exceed ‘X’ amount of exchanges, Where ‘X’ is equal to the optimum number that results in your goal (Sale, issue solved, etc.)
- Number of sales/leads/resolutions etc.
You should also be prepared to run reports on the types of engagements that result in successful interactions, and develop best practices. Odds are your brand has a target demographic and a few key items that are unique to it. Tracking responses that work the best will assist in seeing where that overlays with your social medium of choice. Let me add this caveat though, when you start getting a bunch of compelling data about what works and what doesn’t you’re going to be tempted to create a script for your social media agents. When that thought creeps up, stop yourself. Walk away from any communication device. Go get a stiff drink. Shake your head clear, and come back thankful that you thought better of that silly, silly, idea, because it was a close call. The point here is to identify the best types of interactions. Remember that.
If you keep these pointers in mind the odds of your SM campaign being successful is astronomically higher, it’ll still take work, there’s no magic bullet, but you’ll be on the right track to be sure.
Lino Di Julio, Creative Officer, S&P Data LLC