It’s All in the Response

27 May 2014 Website Traffic 3 Comments

Webinars: Do you watch them? Participate? Host your own?

I love webinars! Such a great way to get some insight and learn from experts you follow online. Sometimes I get a lot out of them, and other times I am affirmed that what I’ve learned through practice about marketing is exactly what it should be. (Other times it’s merely a sales pitch, but that’s beside the point.)

Last week I was on a webinar from Justin Wise, author of Think Digital Academy, social media guru, and more. Check him out here or follow him on Twitter @JustinWise. He’s on Facebook too, but I mainly follow Twitter. The topic of the webinar was “measuring social media success.”

As a business, where are you on social media? What are you doing on social media? And, most importantly, are you getting results?

In general, including in marketing, I don’t like to look at things in black and white. Many marketers don’t, really. Think about it — we’re trying to get many different people who have different interests, different lifestyles, observe different things, want and need different things…all to look at one thing – you – and decide that you are what they want over your competitors… Yeah, that’s not black and white.

Sometimes Justin has a tendency to make things sound like there isn’t a lot of gray area, but in this case I think he’s right. The following isn’t all of what he said or necessarily in his words, but this is what I came away from the webinar with.

gray and color

What’s the first step in social media?

Have a plan. Don’t go in completely blind. Know your company’s big idea and how to carry it out.

Next, create content. Look back to your big idea to know what your content will be.

From here, you’ll get a response from your audience: likes, comments, shares, retweets, pins, and possibly (but hopefully not) silence.

This is how you measure if social media is working. In particular, the sharing tells you that someone is likely to buy your product because they’re willing to tell others about you on their own social media sites.

[Now, quick note, if you get silence in response…you may need to rethink your content creation. For whatever reason, what you’re doing isn’t resonating with your audience.]

One more key piece to this is how to grow your audience.

Here’s what you do: Respond to them.

When you get a comment on any social media site, respond! This is two things – humanizing your brand and customer service. Sometimes people are just talking about how much they like you or answering a question you asked, but other times they’re asking a question or have a problem that needs to be fixed. If someone called your business would you leave it unattended? Just let them talk and hang up on them? Of course not! If someone told you that they loved your company, wouldn’t you at least say thank you and maybe ask if you can use their words as a testimony on your website? I sure hope so!

You can create “raving fans” or “builders” of your brand simply by responding to people as if they’re, well, people.

In my experience, responding to your fans online takes this know-how:

  • > Know the company. Know where to send people online, who they need to talk to to answer questions, and what to do if something has gone wrong.
  • > Have tact. Some people are rude or don’t right good inglish. Things can get weird and hard to respond to… But this person should have an idea of how to deal with the responses needed, both in responding to people and being respectful online (what needs a comment, gets a retweet, and what can just receive a “like?”).
  • > Be nice. First, see above. But second, this person seriously needs to be nice. Who you are comes out online. If you’re commanding, bossy, and overall a little short with people, that’s how people read your comments because that’s how they sound. If you’re kind and helpful though, people will appreciate your response to them.
  • > Have all the answers. Okay, maybe not all, but as many as possible. For example, at my church I edit the website and am part of the promotions process. I know a lot of details about most events and programs. This helps me to answer probably 85% of the questions we get online. If I don’t know the answer though, I know where to find it or where to send them.

How much do you respond to fans online?