Brands and businesses need to be incredibly careful online; with users quick to analyse every comment made, social media interactions have never been more critical to get right. We know how quickly comments, videos and images can be taken out of context, and while we never aim to offend, it’s sometimes inevitable. In this article, we break down the rules to staying professional online, sharing our business engagement tips to ensure you’re loved by your customers every time you post.
Write on social media like you’re talking in person
Social media has broken down the filter of what is appropriate to say and what isn’t. As we aren’t communicating face-to-face, users tend to write in an unfiltered way, saying everything that would once be taboo. As a brand online, we can’t afford to voice ourselves without a filter, as the consequences for these actions can result in lost sales and credibility instantly. As a guide to communicating on social media, aim to respond as if you were face to face with the customer, avoiding curse language, aggressive tone or abusive commentary.
Stay away from politics
Instances where businesses find themselves in deep water online usually surrounds involving themselves in political discussion outside of their relevant industry. Political topics can divide people significantly, and your personal beliefs, expressed through your business profile, can lose you customers. Your business’s social media presence isn’t designed as a grandstand for your political views, and this is important to consider every time you post online. There are always exceptions to this, especially during reform and change in specific industries, but relevance should always be observed.
Analyse before you post
In the same way we should think before we speak, analysing before we post is a wise precaution. Many celebrities have been caught short with this approach, tweeting or posting sensitive content that’s inappropriate for their audience, or that’s culturally insensitive. As a business, we rarely get second chances to make positive impressions, especially as the competition becomes thicker around us. Vetting your social media posts is critical. Consider engaging with other perspectives before posting, as they will help you to see flaws you may not notice. Such vetting will also help you eliminate poorly created content, posts that don’t align with your message and those that discourage lead generation.
Establish response times
Businesses can be highly criticised for delayed response time to social media users. As we are used to the instant, live experience, users become increasingly frustrated by waiting for brands to interact with them. For any of your social media channels, especially direct message-based apps like Facebook messenger, establish a response time; the length of time your customer should expect to hear from you. With this information, you can manage responses comfortably, as well as manage expectations for the user.