Social media strategy: everyone is talking about it. Does it seem like everything you hear these days is social media this and social media that? Social media may be the (relatively) new kid in class, but it isn't going anywhere! So if you've been contemplating taking your clients into the social media world, stop contemplating and do it.
Social media provides an open platform for your/your client's customers to freely give their feedback - positive or negative. And with feedback constantly being written through the various social media channels, it isn't enough to just be on Facebook and Twitter, you need a social media strategy to be successful. You need a plan to increase engagement. You need a plan to quickly and effectively handle negative feedback. You need a plan to develop meaningful content. You need a community manager.
Community managers are responsible for the day to day monitoring of your/your client's social media channel as well as developing the social media strategy for each channel. Facebook isn't YouTube. YouTube isn't Twitter. Twitter isn't Foursquare. Foursquare isn't Yelp. You get it, different platforms require different strategies. With so many needed social media strategies, where do you start?
Let's look more closely at Twitter.
As when trying to solve any problem, we need to start with the "why." Why do customers follow your brand on Twitter? According to a recent study by marketing research firm Nielsen, the following are the top 3 reasons a customer follows your brand:
45% - to receive discounts/special offers
33% - to show support for the brand
9% - to be among the first to get news or updates on the brand
So what does this mean? Remember the Kevin Costner film Field of Dreams? "If you build it, they will come." Turns out, this holds true for your social media content strategy too. Give the people what they want. Tweet about the discounts your brand is currently offering, post tweets asking your followers why they love your brand and tweet all the latest news about your brand; don't forget to leave a few characters so your followers will be able to easily retweet your content. Align your content with the above reasons why customers follow your brand and you'll have an army of brand apostles spreading great WOM and recommending your brand every chance they get.
So you've got the right content, what's next in your social media strategy?
Get involved in the conversation. If a follower compliments your brand, THANK THEM. You'd be surprised how big an impact a simple thank you has on a customer. Always, always thank them.
Right the wrongs. If a follower has a negative experience and posts a negative comment about it, take the conversation off the airways, IMMEDIATELY. Send them a direct message telling them you'd like to help and asking them to send you an email telling you more about their experience. This will both (hopefully) stop your customer from posting more negative comments, as they see you are willing to right the wrong.
Repeat. It's crucial to consistently have new, fresh content. Look at your previous tweets, which had the most engagement? The most retweets? Look at why that tweet resounded well with your followers and aim to replicate that messaging and verbiage - just be sure you don't copy the tweet in its entirety. Remember, the key is fresh content.