Depending on how you use it, social media can be your small business’ secret weapon or greatest flaw. Modern consumers expect some kind of presence from your brand on their computers, phones or other devices, and if you’re not delivering content on a regular basis, you can be sure they’re paying attention to one of your competitors who is.
But the “corporate social media” industry is still fairly young, and businesses large and small run into problems with customers every now and then. Mucking up these encounters can give your brand a black eye, but handling them with grace and respect can serve as more effective word-of-mouth advertisements than you ever thought. If you find yourself making any of these common customer interaction mistakes on social media, take the time to fix them now.
1. Silence isn’t golden
If you have a blog or Facebook page and regularly populate it with content, odds are that you’re going to draw your fair share of customers. However, when these people leave comments on your posts, letting them fall by the wayside as you move on to another post is a mistake many small businesses make.
Whether you choose to avoid or forget to respond to comments left on your social media accounts, you fail to engage your client base in an active relationship with your brand. Your customers might even start to see your social media accounts as a cash-grab instead of the place for meaningful conversations about your company.
2. All work and no play
On the other side of the equation, responding to every single customer has its own drawbacks. If you trawl through the list of comments and make sure to like or reply to each individual, you run the risk of looking like you’re just checking items off a list. While a good-intentioned “Thank you!” can help customers feel appreciated, posting the same message over and over again is just going to expose you for a fake.
“Try to vary how you respond to each user.”
Instead, try to vary how you respond to each user that visits your social media accounts. Different platforms offer multiple options that small businesses can use to like, retweet, favorite, share and do any number of other actions to a particularly likeable post or comment. Don’t fall into a pattern and your customers will stay engaged.
3. Fire from the hip
There should be many ways that your small business’ official blog differs from that of the average housewife or basement dweller, but one of the most important is content strategy. Bloggers might have the freedom to write about anything they want as it comes to them, but if you want to outdo your competitors, you need to plan out your social media content like any other form of marketing.
Planning out a few months’ worth of content allows you shape posts to consumer opinion. When you have nothing to write about, you’re more liable to write about your business, and this might not appeal to consumers in quite the same way as material targeted toward their interests. This part of the process is where you should come up with keywords, linking strategies and any other technical elements that can help you write content that isn’t just engaging to your readers, but actively draws them in by influencing search engine results to appear higher in the rankings.
As long as you don’t make these three social media mistakes, you’ll have a much easier time keeping customers around.