There are many keys to a successful social media campaign. Different things work for different companies and organizations, but there are a few roadblocks that will hinder even the best laid campaign. Check out three roadblocks to avoid below!
The first roadblock of social media is not being fully ready to be “out there.” You’re exposing your company to the public’s opinion. You need to be ready for their honesty. Take negative comments as constructive criticism. Defend your brand well, but be respectful of your audience’s opinions and issues. Once you’ve made the leap, there’s no turning back so make sure you’re company is ready for that type of exposure.
One of the biggest mistakes companies make in their social media efforts is being too self-promotional in their posts to fans and followers. If a potential customer wants to find out about your products or services, they’ll go to your website. If they want to engage with you, they’ll go to your social media site. A little self promotion is okay, but in general, self-serving posts drive your audience away, so keep them to a minimum. Keep your fans and followers interested with valuable, useful content that will make them think of you as a knowledgeable and useful source for information.
Where do you get this valuable content? That’s roadblock #2. Or at least that’s what many companies think. Most companies are uncovering valuable content all the time – they just don’t realize it. Did your company just finish a cool project or help a client solve a problem? Share it – there’s a good possibility your audience will find the information useful. That industry-related article that you read on your train ride to work? If you thought it was interesting and useful, chances are your audience will too. Are you unsure about some of the points made in the article? Even better – post it and ask you followers for their thoughts. Engage your social media audience whenever possible.
Which brings me to the next roadblock… If a fan or follower posts a question or a comment that requires some attention, they need to be answered. And answered quickly. Demonstrating that you’re actively responding to your audience shows that you care about them. You wouldn’t ignore a customer’s question in a store, so don’t ignore it online. Make their concerns, your concerns and you’ll come out looking like a company with a real handle on customer service.
One of the best examples I ever saw of this was while I was researching hotels for a vacation. One hotel received poor reviews repeatedly on TripAdvisor.com; however EVERY SINGLE REVIEW was answered directly by the guest relations manager from the hotel. She responded with an apology and her contact information to assist with the reviewers’ issues personally. Shortly after I learned that the hotel had given their customer service operations a full overhaul and this was the result; an aggressive response plan that actually makes them look extremely caring and proactive. A negative review or comment does not need to ruin a social media post – it gives you the opportunity to demonstrate how quickly and efficiently your company will solve the problem.
When first starting a social media campaign, it’s important to be prepared for the roadblocks outlined above. If you’re ready and able to take them on, then you’re probably ready to be fully invested in a social media campaign. So get out there and join the conversation – it’s about time your company was part of it.