3 Necessary Steps to Real Social Media Communication
To most, active means you update your status several times a week. You tweet, retweet, and favorite some interesting articles or news. You’ve been on Google+, +1ing and sharing. You’ve even made sure to pin articles to all of your Pinterest boards. So by the Merriam-Webster definition, you are in fact “active” on social media and have joined the conversation. However, if this is how you’re conversing, you likely aren’t making too many new friends.
Imagine the scenario above as a face-to-face conversation. At no point did the activities above mention anything related to most important parts of effective communication- listening and understanding.
Ever heard (or been part of) a conversation where all parties are talking and no one listens? Try it out and tell me if you learned anything. When you don’t listen, you don’t learn. And when you don’t learn, you repeat the same mistakes over and over again.
So how do you listen on social media? It’s similar to how you would actively listen when someone is right in front of you:
Pay attention to audience data. More and more social media sites are enhancing their analytics capabilities to allow you to listen better to your customers. By studying how your audience reacts to your posts, you can understand more about them. Through data, you can see audiences’ likes and dislikes, what time of day they’re active on social media, and demographic information. By studying this information, you can tailor your message to more effectively reach your audience and build your brand.
Show you’re listening by responding to comments. Don’t just post and ignore. If your attempt to connect to your consumers has worked, don’t let your hard work slip away by ignore the people who engage with your content. Whether you like their comment, comment back, retweet, favorite, etc., make sure your audience knows you’re listening.
Respond appropriately while being original. Few things are worse than a generic response to genuine interest in your post. It can appear disingenuous, and at times look worse than ignoring. If customers see the same blanket response to all posts, they will stop engaging with you because you’ve stopped truly engaging with them.
You know that every second of every day consumers are on social media sharing, connecting, and discussing brands, products and ideas. If they talk to you, how has your dealership prepared to listen, understand and continue the conversation?
– Josh Harris, Naked Lime Digital Marketing Supervisor