Set aside dedicated ‘engagement’ time.
An hour-a-day would be ideal, but some companies may only be able to spend a couple of hours a week. Use this time to make sure customers have been responded and reached out to – but don’t put off urgent responses until this time (see below.) If someone has tweeted a picture enjoying your products or services, reach out and respond to them. Use your channels to network: congratulating clients, tweeting fellow award nominees and such.
Run polls, ask your customers for their opinions and make sure you’re posting content they can engage with.
Don’t leave the customer hanging.
If you use social media as a channel of communication to your customer, you need to be prepared for them to utilise it in the same way. Customer queries and complaints should be dealt with within the same day. You may find your posts attracting inappropriate responses that may offend readers – so if you’ve created a post, make sure you have someone assigned to monitor comments.
Be proactive towards complaints.
It may be tempting to delete a complaint and pretend it never happened – but it won’t save embarrassment and reflects badly on your brand. Instead tackle the complaint head on and respond positively.
Build a community.
Consumers respond well when they feel ‘part’ of something. Exclusive threads and movements all encourage interaction from your audience. Check out a brand that’s done it well here.
Put yourself in the right conversation.
Insert your posts in the thread of activity with hashtags. Use tools like RiteTag to ensure your hashtags are relevant and will have the most impact. Be on the look out for the latest trends and be responsive – jumping on a viral video weeks later will make it seem like your brand doesn’t have its finger on the pulse.