Prior to social media, organizations didn’t have as much direct and immediate feedback with consumers and the general public as they do now. How fortune we are today to have ongoing communication with those we seek to engage. However, this constant feedback can be a bit overwhelming. As an organizational leader, what do you need to do?
Positive social media comments are great to receive; but ongoing negative comments and snarky jabs can feel like they are dominant in the social stratosphere. John Suler got it right with the disinhibition effect. What people do in cyberspace, they wouldn’t ordinarily say or do when face-to-face with the person. For an organization, social media is an extremely important communication and engagement tool.
Here are some ways you as a leader can help your organization be strategic about your social media engagement and learn from the chatter online.
- Use social media to listen. Always, always be thankful for feedback—good, bad or neutral. Positive comments, complaints, gripes, 5-star reviews and 1-star reviews all provide for a great micro-assessment on how others see your organization and view your brand. Social media provides an immediate feedback loop to gauge external perceptions and assumptions. Approach feedback with an open mind and as an opportunity to learn and improve. Is this a reoccurring complaint or common issue expressed by multiple people? Then it’s probably time to do something about it.
- Have a response strategy. Have a response strategy and decision tree created to determine when and how to engage. This will help your organization know when to reply to comments, share them, delete them or report them. This applies to both positive and negative engagement. Do you respond to negative comments, and if so, how? How will you celebrate and promote positivity surrounding your brand? How often?
- Keep perspective. Take a step back. What can you learn from that 1-star review? How might that customer’s experience have been better? Is this a form of feedback, or is it just a gripe? A public form of venting? Know when to listen and act, and then know when to listen and move on. Know when it’s relevant and know when it’s just chatter.
Social media is a great tool. It’s an amazing outlet for communication. Use it to stay connected with your audiences, hear their opinions and have healthy dialogue around important topics. As an organization, spend time listening to those who seek to engage, have a strategy for responding and always keep perspective to help keep you grounded.
O’Connor Connective provides communication strategy to help advance organizational goals. To learn more on how social media fits with your marketing communications strategy, contact us today.