Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Yes, You Can Hire Someone to Manage Your Twitter Account

When people ask what exactly a social media manager does and I explain it to them, one of the most common responses I get is: "You mean I can hire someone to tweet for me?" Yes, you can! "But how do you know what to say?"

A good social media manager is a chameleon. To determine what to tweet on their behalf, I soak up all the details of my client's business and create a custom content strategy. I then develop their voice and tone down to the smallest detail. Are their hashtags practical or whimsical? Would they use periods at the end of sentences or ellipses? Do they use contractions? What about slang? When you only have 140 characters to work with, these tiny elements make a big difference. They are what creates authenticity and prevents tweets from sounding corporate or canned.

Managing a Twitter account for a brand also means curating and developing their online community. Retweets, follows and favorites further express the brand's identity and help it connect with the right customers, partners and prospects. I once took over a local business' Twitter account and discovered that the agency who theyd worked with previously had followed nearly 2,000 Twitter accounts of peope all across the country, in an effort to build their community. The problem was, a vast majority of those people would never visit the city the business was in, let alone shop there. A good social media manager will develop a Twitter community that is relevant to your business.

One of the most important things that a social media manager provides on Twitter is a high and consistent volume of posts. If you're posting only once a day, no one is seeing your messages. Opinions differ on exactly how many posts per day is effective, but no matter what your goal total is, boosting the volume of posts gives you more opportunities to be heard throughout the day.

Long story short, it is entirely possible (and highly recommended!) to find someone to tweet for you instead of trying to do it yourself. Hiring someone to manage your Twitter account will give you a more consistent, engaged, effective presence and free up your time to focus on the work of your business.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Reason 257 Why You Need Social Media: Your Customers Are Passive-Aggressive Jerks

We have officially reached the stage in our cultural development where customers would rather whine about issues on social media than address them in person. In my last blog post, I shared a social media customer success story. This time, I will share a few real life examples where customers have reached out through social media about issues that could, and probably should, have been addressed in person or through traditional customer service channels. Each example details suggested responses for similar scenarios.
  • "The tomatoes on my sandwich were sliced so thin it was like there were no tomatoes at all!" There are two main issues with this type of interaction: too much time has elapsed to solve the issue, and the issue is subjective. This is a good time to remember that the customer is always right. Your staff member may have thought that the thickness of the tomatoes was fine, or may have been trying to save you money, but the customer is unhappy. It's probably too late to do anything about the sandwich in question, so apologize and find a way to make it right.
  • "Ugh! The product broke on its way to me!" This is a typical case of people not knowing how or taking the time to find traditional customer service channels. Apologize, direct them to the right place (and a location where you can get their info without exposing it to the public), and make it right.
  • "Your staff person was SO RUDE!" This offended customer simmered about the in-person interaction they had with your business until they had to say something on social media. Maybe they felt uncomfortable asking to speak to someone in person, or maybe they just wanted to rant online. Whatever the reason, apologize, take the interaction out of the public eye, get the details from both sides of the story, and find a way to make the customer walk away happy.
Notice a theme here? The customer is always right. Handling social media complaints with tact and care can turn a negative interaction into a positive relationship. Responding quickly and effectively via social media makes you look good to other customers and prospects as well. And directing confused customers to the proper customer service channels will help prevent future confusion.
When you hire someone to manage your social media accounts, ask them about their experience with and approach to customer service. These days, social media is a customer service resource. Monitor it and treat it as such, or suffer the consequences: even more annoyed customers.