Lack of Social Engagement Can Damage Your Brand Image and Your Profit

I would like to think that by now most people who work in the communication industry are aware of the value of social media. I would also like to think that most business owners, marketing managers, and directors have some sort of basic understanding for why they need to spend payroll dollars on a community manager.

But let’s be realistic. That type of knowledge is not common. It is also something really easy to ignore and miss.

So I narrow down my wishful thinking to hoping that community managers, especially for bigger brands, definitely know what they are doing. But even there, in the pull of the new found profession, people are still learning the ropes. Things go by unnoticed, forgotten, and never taken care of, leaving dissatisfied customers to pout in silence.

Most people who share their dissatisfaction, or satisfaction, with the brand don’t see a response. The rage has nowhere to go but stew on their Twitter feed to be seen by everyone, unresolved.

Entrepreneur magazine posted an article about a study titled “Brands Simply Aren’t Replying on Twitter.” The report stated that “54% of [socially active] companies send less than one @-reply per day.”

Now here’s why this is a problem:

Social media is a platform for building relationships and as it stands relationship is a two-way conversation. You can share relevant, useful information all day long but if you ignore engagement you automatically create a foundation for problems.

Social media is great for PR resolutions because you can address issues in real time. But if you don’t people will notice. If you don’t acknowledge people’s compliments or complaints you put yourself at risk of losing business. For example, three years ago I had purchased a rather expensive pair of shoes, people on the streets stopped to comment on the shoes. Within two weeks both heels broke in half while I was at a TIFF party. I shared my concern with the brand on Twitter but never got a response. I haven’t purchased a pair of shoes from them since, nor did anyone in my close social circle, in fact most of us are now anti-ambassadors for this particular brand. So think about this: a million is made up of ones, how many ones are you willing to lose by not responding to a tweet?

Social ROI is calculated through engagement and what is engagement if not people talking to your brand. The math is simple, if you respond you are likely to get more mentions, if you get more mentions you have higher engagement rates, more people see what a great brand you are (increased reach) and become interested in your product (raised awareness). A simpler math is this: by responding to an @-mention you are likely to get at least another mention, which already has a potential of doubling your engagement.

The important thing, however, is to not only respond to negative mentions and comments but positive too. If people voluntarily share their love for your product they deserve an acknowledgment – that is, after all, one of the easiest ways to gain brand ambassadors. The least you can do is say “Thanks!” You can fuel the conversation by simply responding and re-tweeting.

So look at your brand’s social feed, now look at the mentions. How many of those are left unresolved?

 

Originally published on Advertising Week Social Club here. 

 

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