By Christa Skiles
Some people spend their time on Facebook looking at cute animal videos or vacation photos from their friends. While I do that, too, as someone who works at a marketing and communications agency, I’m rarely scrolling blindly through my own newsfeed. Rather, I’m always on the lookout for innovative ways organizations use Facebook to tell unique stories and engage their fans.
A lot of companies do those things very well. But, I’m still surprised by the one big mistake so many make this late in the social media game.
Forgetting that social media is social.
If one of your friends asked you a question, would you blatantly ignore it? Of course not! Yet many organizations ignore questions, comments or complaints posted to their Facebook or Twitter pages or don’t answer them in a timely manner.
For better or worse, we live in an age in which we’re all glued to technology, and most individuals think of your company’s social media pages as extensions of your customer service program. Rather than pick up the phone and call you when they have a problem or question, they’ll shoot you a Facebook message or tweet and expect that you’ll answer them there.
According to a recent survey, brands respond to just 11 percent of people seeking help from them via social media. This is despite the fact that, from the perspective of your customers, these channels are viewed as top resources for their customer service needs.
Failing to respond has real impact. According to an AdWeek article posted earlier this year, the Net Promoter Score (a measure of the likelihood that someone will recommend your company to others) from customers who don’t receive replies to their social media comments drops by 43 percent. Take a minute to think about it. Just by ignoring someone who has reached out to you on social media, your company’s credibility and word-of-mouth marketing take an immediate and drastic hit.
It’s true that responding to followers can be a definite challenge for some organizations, especially those with small staffs and limited resources. But making this investment also results in an amazing opportunity. Social media gives businesses a chance offered by few other forms of marketing to engage their biggest fans in a conversation. Take advantage of it.