Engaging Rather than Annoying on Social Media

As marketers, we all think that our content is always great. Our audience wants to see everything we post. Maybe not. Maybe we are being annoying.

The reality is that if we aren’t careful, our content can do more harm than good. It is important to understand and heed what your audience does and doesn’t want to see.

Adobe recently conducted a new study of 1,000 U.S. consumers that gives some insight into what annoys people most about content from brands.

These things annoy people. Don’t do them:

  • Content that is too wordy or badly written. The best length depends on your audience and the type of message. No matter what the length, make sure it is well-written with proper spelling and grammar.
  • Poor design. Make sure those words you put over that image can be read by young eyes and old. Choose colors that enhance rather than detract. And, think carefully before using Comic Sans and other fonts that connote a tone.
  • Too personal. Mind your manners online. Understand the nature of your relationships online and respect boundaries.
  • New! content that is not new. We all repurpose online, but don’t try to spin something as new when it isn’t. Your audience has a memory.
  • Doesn’t work on mobile. Don’t assume that your audience is sitting at a computer. Make sure that everything works as well on a phone as it does on a larger screen. Nothing is more frustrating than wanting to act but not being able to!

Customer Service on Social Media

According to a J.D. Power survey in 2013, 67 percent of consumers have used a company’s social media site for service. That expectation has only increased. Having a social customer support strategy is a must.

Is your social media team well-versed on customer service?

Many companies have a social media team that handles postings. Is that team trained for the customer service role?

Your brand’s response or lack of response to inquiries via social media are public. Others are watching. So an effective or ineffective response impacts well beyond one customer.

Have a customer service strategy

There’s no room for error. Customer service needs to be part of your social media strategy.

Decide who will handle customer service issues. That person or team then needs to be armed with the information to provide timely and accurate support. The more information and resources they have, the better service they can provide.

Once you have the team and insights in place, it’s time to create customer service guidelines. Address:

  • Standards for response time
  • Standard responses (create consistency)
  • When issues should be escalated to a higher level
  • Identifying constructive opportunities versus chronic complaints

Automate with care

It can be challenging to stay on top of social media support. The temptation to use automated tools is real. However, proceed with care. Replacing the genuine response people expect with automation can damage your brand.

Tools can help you to:

  • Provide immediate responses that set expectations for response time
  • Scan for brand mentions
  • Schedule timely information to proactively address customer concerns

Learn from your customers

Do more than respond. Get insight from customer inquiries. Are there common points of confusion that can be addressed in your social strategy? Does there seem to be a problem with a product or service?

Track inquiries and take steps to address any patterns or themes that emerge.  Understanding where customer dissatisfaction comes from enables you to improve .

Think LinkedIn Is Just for Job Seekers? You Are Missing Out

If you haven’t checked out LinkedIn lately, you may still think it’s a platform for job seekers. Not anymore. LinkedIn is a vibrant community of professional networking. Your business needs to have a presence on LinkedIn.

Here are strategies that you can use to achieve your business goals on LinkedIn.

Define your brand.

Building your professional brand is crucial, because people are more likely to buy from those they know, like and trust. You need to have both a LinkedIn personal profile and a company page. Both of these assets will showcase you and your business in a professional light.

Ensure your personal LinkedIn profile is professional and complete. Your profile visitors should be able to learn quickly about who you aim to serve, what you offer and why they should listen to you. Your credibility can be further enhanced by the recommendations and skill endorsements sections your profile.

Create a LinkedIn company page for your business. This is important, even if you’re a consultant or freelancer. Your company page needs to be complete, representing you and your business the way you want your ideal clients to see you.

Share your expertise.

Demonstrate your authority on your subject matter. Share content and resources that your ideal clients will find of value.

Provide your own opinion or perspective on any items that you share that are not your own.

Create and share your own original content. You can post it as status updates or long-form articles. The content you create should reflect your expertise and target the needs and interests of your target customer.

Make connections.

Connect to people, brands and groups on LinkedIn that are relevant to your brand. The larger your network, the more people will see your content. You can find people by searching the names of key clients and partners.

You can also do topical searches on LinkedIn to find people you don’t yet know. If you have a mutual connection, ask for an introduction. If not, you can send a direct connection request. Send a personalized connection request, answering the question they will have in their mind when they receive it – “who is this person, and why are they trying to connect with me?”

Stay involved.

You need to do more than set up shop on LinkedIn. You need to be part of the community. Look for content that you can like, share and comment on.

  • Read your news feed – Visit the LinkedIn news feed on your homepage to see the latest posts by your network. You can sort the feed by ‘Top’ (most popular) and ‘Recent’ posts to find the ones most relevant to you.​
  • Follow thought leaders and influencers – Follow thought leaders and influencers in your industry, as well as those who serve markets similar to yours to stay on top of leading trends and market opportunities.​
  • Follow companies and organizations – Find and follow the leading companies and organizations in your industry.​
  • Follow your competitors – Follow your competitors to gain insight into what they’re offering, whom they’re serving, what they’re sharing and what’s important to them.
  • Follow hashtags – Search for and follow hashtags most commonly used by individuals, companies and organizations in your industry on LinkedIn. This way, your news stream includes content topics most relevant to your business.