Last week I started my discussion on how Social Media Managers act as the Voice of your brand, and how to create the right kind of content that both attracts and keeps your customers engaged with you online. This time around, I’m focusing on the different ways SMMs can interact with others once they’ve got their attention.

So, you’ve got a ton of followers on Twitter and fans on Facebook. Now, what do you do with them?

Well, one of the most effective and easiest ways to do this is to offer prizes. Crunch Pak, a sliced apple company based in Cashmere, WA offers coupons and free Crunch Pak swag to the first Facebook Fans and Twitter Followers who answer their weekly trivia correctly. If your company can afford to give away prizes like these, then you should definitely take advantage of such an idea; Crunch Pak’s rewards are especially clever, too, since coupons encourage the winner to buy their product, and winners who carry around their branded swag are helping to raise awareness for the company!

 

Another duty your Social Media Manager will be tasked with is responding to any and all comments or messages sent to your social media accounts — both positive and negative. And let me tell you: The negative comments rarely start out private!

As a rule of thumb, Social Media Managers should immediately email their company contact when faced with public negative feedback for direction on how to handle it. Depending on the content of said post or message, as well as whether you have the ability to take it down (a Facebook post on your wall vs. a Tweet simply @mentioning you), your company may want to contact the unhappy customer in a variety of ways.

No matter what you do, don’t just ignore itEven the most miserable grump has a right to be treated as a respected adult (even if they’re not being very respectable). Responding to an angry post with an apology and invitation to discuss matters in private messages, rather than deleting and ignoring it, shows other customers who may come across it that your company’s Voice cares about its customers — no matter their opinion of the product or service in question.

You may even change the complainer’s idea about the company in the process. I had one lady on Twitter who was VERY angry that her product was missing something, and after a quick chat confirming it was OK with my company contact, I sent her a direct message saying that the company would send her a new one. She was absolutely delighted, and the conflict was resolved in the best way possible.

One more way your Voice comes in handy is through spreading awareness and connecting with similar accounts. Think of it like the first day of school: If you sit in the corner and play by yourself, your classmates won’t have any idea who you are. You’ll speak up once in a while, and maybe they’ll be interested in what you have to say…but eventually, they’d rather listen to what their friends say more than you.

In other words, make friends! Friends who have the same interests as you, who can introduce you to more people, who won’t have any problems promoting you even if you’re not around. Share and retweet their articles, comment on and favorite relevant posts, and ALWAYS mention and/or tag their accounts when you talk about them. This makes it a lot easier for them to see when you’ve spoken about them in a positive light (which, in retrospect, would be a really neat thing to have in real life, too!).

The biggest thing to keep in mind is that in order for your Social Media Manager to develop the right kind of Voice for your company, you have to have an open channel of communication.  Just saying “okay, this is who we market to” isn’t enough. You should provide a short list of example content, or even a competitor’s social media account, to help give them a push in the right direction, and your Social Media Manager should email you their ideas for content before posting it, at least for the first month. If he or she posts content you deem “irrelevant” or “inappropriate”, simply ask them to take it down and clarify why it isn’t what you want.

Everything comes down to the interaction between your company and your consumers, and how your Social Media Manager acts as the channel of communication between both parties. With the right Voice on social media, your company’s online influence and reputation are sure to be a success.

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