Would you ignore a customer in your store asking for a different jean size? How about a customer calling to let you know they placed their order four weeks ago and still have not received a shipment confirmation? Surely not. Ignoring a customer or potential customer reaching out to your brand on social media is just as awful as ignoring one in person or on the phone. A clear engagement plan is an essential part of every social media strategy. Without it, your customers and audience members will feel unappreciated, ignored and uncomfortable supporting your brand. Here are the biggest mistakes a brand can make concerning social media engagement and how to avoid them.
Not Checking On Social Media Posts and Questions Engagement Enough
Questions and concerns can be time sensitive and should be addressed promptly. Replying to a comment asking what time doors open for tonight’s event won’t be very helpful next Tuesday, will it? According to Shep Hyken, 85% of consumers using Facebook expect an answer within six hours and 64% of consumers using Twitter expect a response within an hour. Remember, social media is a fast industry. Users want answers just as fast as they can ask the questions.
It’s also important to note that ignoring Facebook Inbox messages will severely hurt your message response time, a number that is advertised on the lefthand side of a Facebook Business page. Think of this number as a review for your social media customer service. You want it to be as close to 100% as possible!
To ensure you are consistently checking comments, create a 9AM, 12PM and 5PM rule. Each day at those times, check each post for comments and each platform for messages and respond to each. Consider utilizing programs like Sprout Social to make this task a bit easier – it pulls every comment and message that you have not responded to yet into one long feed for you to answer at once. Simple!
Ignoring Negative Comments
Though it may be tempting to ignore negative comments, it is doing more harm than good. Respond in a timely matter and try taking the conversation offline, such as in a direct message or an email. Here are a few examples of how you can address unhappy customers:
- Oh, no! If you DM us your confirmation number, we’d be happy to look up your account and take a look at what went wrong.
- Oh, no! That order doesn’t sound like it was up to our standards! Please DM us, we’d like to send you a replacement meal and a discount code for your next order.
- Hi, name! We’re so sorry this happened. Please send us a DM so we can get your information and resolve this as soon as possible. Thank you!
Notice how the above replies offer an apology and a solution! Always ensure customers that it is important to them that you help solve their problem. While these are great templates to use when responding to an unhappy comment, be sure to change each up slightly and include personalization. If a user sees multiple people have received the same message, it may not have the desired positive effect at diffusing a situation.
It’s also important to note that you shouldn’t delete comments (within reason). If a user leaves a highly inappropriate, aggressive, foul or offensive comment – by all means please do delete it. That is a necessary part of engagement checks, too!
Using Robotic Replies
Remember, a brand’s social media account should not feel like a robot runs it. Be sure to take the time to add elements of personalization to each comment, address users’ names and have a little fun. While it’s never okay to use slang for certain brands, it is okay to use a little wit when appropriate or add a few fun emojis during the holidays. People appreciate knowing that a real human is behind the messages being sent on behalf of a brand or business.
Not Utilizing User-Generated Content
Ignoring your brand mentions is like ignoring free advertisement that fell into your lap. A necessary part of a social media engagement plan for any business is following all brand mentions, especially on Instagram, and utilizing it.
If a customer posts a photo of a delicious meal courtesy of your restaurant, by all means, repost it on your own account or Instagram Story! There’s no doubt about it, people trust people.
In fact, according to research conducted by Nielsen, 43% of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when learning about it from friends on social media. Carefully checking to see if anyone tagged your brand, tagged your brand’s location or used an associated hashtag to post photos relevant to your brand is very important.
Additionally, be conscious of Facebook reviews! Mediating the negative ones is important, but utilizing the positive ones to create graphics to share on your feeds is a great course of content, too.