I’ve been sitting on this post since the beginning of the year. My draft folder has it dated from February! Why haven’t I posted it?
Well… whenever I read it, it makes me wonder if I sound like a bit of a know-all to be honest. But, the truth is… I’m running short on posts following my holiday (you didn’t even know I was gone did ya?!) and I haven’t really done a rant for AGES!
So, here goes…
Brands have been taking Social Media seriously for the last couple of years and have been implementing techniques to jump on the bandwagon left, right and centre… sometimes, without really thinking it through.
I have tons of random thoughts on brand involvement with Social Media outlets (inc. blogs) in general but I’m curious on how you guys feel they’ve impacted on arenas like Twitter and Facebook?
Ultimately, I think it’s a great advancement and would love to see all brands employ a mouthpiece for these channels. It often makes a faceless corporation accessible to their customers in a way that’s relevant and current. Though, when it goes wrong… it’s like the best car crash telly ever.
Here’s my 10 top tips for brands wanting to engage with Twitter and Facebook
1. Serve your customers!
If a brand takes on Twitter or Facebook, they need to be prepared for Customer Service duties… don’t ignore followers/readers with complaints. By all means, direct them to an appropriate email address (though that does feel a little like ‘fobbing’ off). If you can address issues directly… top marks.
2. Don’t dabble… commit!
I see lots of brands engage in Social Media half-heartedly. Big No No! There’s nothing worse than asking a question through an ‘instant’ medium (during working hours) to receive a reply a week later! Sort it out!
3. Don’t use Twitter/Facebook as a holding page for links to other social media channels.
It irks me so much to click on a Twitter link only to be taken to the Brand’s Facebook page which contains nothing but a link to the Brand’s blog or website. Thanks for the wasted clicks. I’ll just click off.
4. It’s OK to have personality!
Allow a little personality through. We love seeing you make a mistake and tweet the wrong person the wrong thing and then fluster as you try to correct. FUN! It’s also nice if you let us into your world… tell us about your ah-mazing chocolate croissant you picked up on the way into work. After all, it’s all that banal stuff that makes the Twitter-verse go round!
5. Know when to draw the line.
This one’s tricky… at what point does personality edge into inappropriateness? Would love to hear your thoughts on this. It happens and it makes me cringe… if you wanna share last night’s shenanigans with @bestbud then THAT’S what DMs are for!
Unless you know me personally, I’d rather you didn’t call me ‘hun’ either.
6. Give us twitter/facebook specific discounts or offers.
Make us feel like a special part of your family. If we like you enough to follow/add you… then we’re listening. Reward that.
7. Showcase your brand and let us tell you what WE think!
Let us in, we’re nosey buggers. Tweet us a pic of your desk, the R&D dept (though maybe not Accounts eh?), what are you guys working on? What can we expect from you next? Twitter and Facebook are such great venues for gauging consumers opinions and feedback, you’d be silly not to utilise the potential. Plus, we love to feel all important, so give us the opportunity to help you (and possibly shape you as a company!)
8. Make sure your Social Media mouthpiece has a grasp of netiquette.
Do they ‘follow’ anyone back on Twitter? In an environment that’s all about the flow of information… this communication needs to be 2-way. If you aren’t following any relevant users or commenters back, what’s the point? You’ll be asking us to sleep in the wet patch next.
9. You scratch our back, we’ll scratch yours…
Word of Mouth is obviously a hugely significant part of modern marketing and in this age, information is King (and Queen). If you want your followers to talk about you… engage, engage, engage.
10. Relish the prospect of getting closer to your consumer.
Yeah, we’re scary. We call you names on Twitter and the same rules of professionalism don’t apply to @badassmomma543 on Twitter as they do to you. Life sucks.
However, as with all Social Media (blogs included), the rewards can be so much more fulfilling when you loosen that iron-fist and relinquish some of that control. Take the step that brings you closer to the people who are out there actually BUYING your stuff.
Last year, I listened to an owner of a well-known beauty brand tell a group of people (without any PR prompting!) that (social media) was the purest form of feedback a brand could receive. I can’t even tell you how much the sincerity in those words raised my spirits as a consumer. Some brands really do ‘get it’.
What do you guys think? I know loads of you are on Facebook and Twitter… are there any specific brands that are getting it right or (gasp) wrong?! Is there anything I’ve missed out… anything you don’t agree with?