When you think of corporate social media, you likely remember the famous fiascos or stellar social media campaigns from brands.
Social media is a delicate art. If you focus solely on promoting your brand without interacting with your audience, you’ll lose them. On the other hand, leaning too heavily on simply responding to people can take the focus off your products or services.
There are just as many ways to get social media right as a business as there are to get it wrong. You can give your followers useful, entertaining, and engaging content while effectively promoting your brand. Take Zoom’s 2020 virtual background contest, Moonpie’s witty Twitter account, and JetBlue’s outstanding take on engaging and assisting their customers.
Corporate social media can be a powerful tool for your business—with the right approach. Let’s take a look at how and why communicating with customers through social media is important and how your brand can do it successfully.
How brands can communicate with customers through social media
So you’ve set up your social media accounts. Now what? Here are a few approaches to consider:
Broadcast news or updates
Keeping your platforms current is essential. Posting company news, announcements, and milestones, as well as talking about trending topics and industry news, are great ways to show customers that you’re present and paying attention. Make yourself visible and engage with your audience by tailoring updates to address their questions or needs. Effective social media is centered around the customer, not the company.
But tread carefully; if you’re using a trending hashtag, check that hashtag first. You don’t want to use a somber subject to sell, say, candy. If you do, you risk appearing thoughtless, unempathetic, and uninformed.
Answer questions and address concerns
People are increasingly turning to social media to ask questions and voice their opinions, good or bad, about businesses. And with good reason: platforms like Twitter provide direct access to large companies. They also give businesses a chance to quickly address and correct issues. Although not all of your conversations will be pleasant, it’s a chance to make a bad experience into a good one—if you do it right.
Of course, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind. For example:
- Avoid automatic responses. They might be convenient, but they’re not ideal for customer interactions. At best, you’ll come off as a bit distant. At worst, they can go terribly wrong. American Airlines learned this the hard way when providing automated responses to critical tweets. Instead, consider using a tool; Grammarly Business’s snippets feature can help you streamline your answers and ensure they’re clear, engaging, and on-brand.
- Be prompt, but not too prompt. Take the time to read your customers’ questions and make sure you understand them before you hit that “reply” button.
- If you can, add a personal touch to your messages. By using someone’s name and adding a friendly greeting, you can connect to them on a more personal level.
Post giveaways and promotional content
Communicating with customers through social media is a two-way street. Posting engaging content, such as giveaways or special promotions for your products and services, will boost the traffic on your page and increase brand visibility. Brands typically use this content as acquisitional tools, but the goal is to get a lot of clicks. You use this opportunity to interact with customers and watch your engagement skyrocket. Some examples:
- Giveaways that allow followers to enter for a prize by reposting or tagging a friend
- Polls or quizzes with fun, interesting questions
- Contests revolving around your product
Harness the power of live-chat features
Direct messages or live chat features allow your team to do more than just quickly respond to questions and criticisms. By using chat features, your representatives can have longer, more meaningful conversations, establish rapport, and adjust their tone to customers’ needs. They can also connect with new or potential customers and act as ambassadors for your brand. Ultimately, live chat can give your brand a competitive advantage and allow you to better meet your customers’ needs.
Build rapport and create positive brand sentiment
Connecting with your customers shouldn’t be all business. Try to entertain, inform, or connect with your followers whenever you can. Casual, joking interactions add a human element to your presence. Making lighthearted jokes or bantering with competitors helps you reach current and potential customers.
Alternatively, you can use this to highlight good experiences and showcase how people are using your product. When people know you’re likely to see and respond to their posts, they’re also more likely to let you know when an employee goes above and beyond for them.
Finally, by offering insight into your areas of expertise—whatever they may be—you can enrich your followers’ experience with your products or services. Keep abreast of the latest developments in your industry and participate in the discussions around them.
Managing your company’s social media account
To navigate the complex social-media landscape successfully, you’ll need to involve both marketing and customer service experts. For best results, hire people who understand your brand and the concerns your customers are likely to have.
But it doesn’t end there. Even the best team needs some training and guidance to get started.
Ensuring effective social media management
So how do you join the ranks of companies that excel at maintaining their social media presence? Here are a few rules of thumb:
1 Give people a reason to follow you. Entertaining or informative posts, giveaways, contests, and polls all allow you to promote your brand and engage your customers. For example, let’s say you represent a camera company. Photo contests would be a great way to engage followers.
2 Be responsive. If you answer questions and address problems promptly, you’ll build trust. Remember, your answers are one of your most effective tools on social media.
3 Post consistently and tailor your message to your platform. For example, although Twitter is great for shorter messages and real-time interactions, Facebook may be better for your long-form content.
4 Maintain your brand voice, but match your tone to the situation. Your response to a lighthearted kudos, for example, wouldn’t require the gravity of a serious complaint. You can maintain both brand voice and tone using Grammarly Business’s corporate style guide and tone detector features.
5 Treat people with respect and empathy. If someone’s having a bad experience with your company, a confrontation is the last thing they (or you) need. Try to understand where they’re coming from, acknowledge their frustration, and do your best to help.
These days, an active social media presence is essential. But using the channel effectively takes careful management and a strong commitment to engaging with your audience. Follow these tips to make the most of your social media accounts.
Optimize your social media accounts with Grammarly Business
Communicating with customers through social media gives brands the ability to make personalized, meaningful connections that improve engagement, reputation, and overall productivity. Take advantage of the various platforms available and optimize your channels to boost your brand and gain a competitive edge.
Grammarly Business helps teams write wherever they manage social media, seamlessly integrating our tone detector for kind, engaging, on-brand messages with customers and providing time-saving tools like snippets. Social media managers and customer support leaders can also use our style guide feature to make sure everyone managing your social media accounts is following brand standards and set up for success.
Are you working to reach your customers effectively using social media? Grammarly makes suggestions across all platforms to help respond to your customers quickly with clear, personable resolutions and craft messaging that excites and engages your audience. Contact us to get Grammarly Business for your team today.