Receiving feedback from your audience on social media can feel like a mixed blessing. Even though feedback is important, social media makes these comments public! If you haven’t created a social media response strategy for replying to comments and tweets, you may be missing opportunities to inspire customer loyalty and resolve complaints before they affect your brand.
By engaging with your audience online, you can cultivate a community of loyal supporters who serve as brand advocates. Here are some strategies for responding to comments in an appropriate, on-brand, and effective manner.
1. Monitor conversations about your brand
First, you should know what people are saying about your brand online, whether they’re talking directly to you or about you to the public at large. Social listening helps you gauge brand sentiment and “read the room,” so to speak. Once you have a baseline understanding of what your brand sentiment typically looks like, you’ll be more likely to notice when unusual comments pop up.
Take care not to miss out on any social media posts involving your brand. Fans and supporters may not always spell your name or handle correctly when talking about you, so set up social listening tools (such as Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social, SumAll, TweetReach, or BuzzSumo) to capture common misspellings of your brand name or relevant hashtags.
2. Respond to comments and complaints
According to The State of Digital Customer Experience Report 2019 from Conversocial, 62 percent of consumers said they were more likely to give a brand repeat business if the brand responded to their questions on social media channels. Accordingly, one of the key components of a social media response strategy is — you guessed it — responsiveness. It’s a good idea to quickly respond to all of the comments you receive, both positive and negative.
Contrary to what you might assume, social media complaints can actually be a golden opportunity in disguise. According to Convince and Convert, answering a complaint increases customer advocacy by as much as 25 percent. Not responding to a complaint, however, can decrease customer advocacy by as much as 50 percent. As Search Engine Journal noted, even responding to positive comments can boost your brand awareness — especially if you’re a smaller brand.
If you need a customer’s contact information to resolve their issue, then it’s best to switch to private messaging. Make sure to send them one last public message before you do this so that they — and anyone else following the conversation — can see that you’re following up via private message for a more in-depth exchange.
3. Be authentic and consistent when responding
Your brand identity should shine through when you engage with fans and supporters. Is your brand playful and fun, or is it business-like and reserved? Make sure that’s clear in the tone and style of your social media responses. Whether lighthearted or matter-of-fact in tone, the replies you send should be authentic and friendly. Interacting with a faceless social media account can feel a bit off-putting, so signal that there’s a human on the other end by introducing yourself or adding your initials at the end of a tweet.
By adopting a social media response strategy now, you can help your brand continue to flourish online. Monitoring social conversations and consistently responding to comments in an authentic way helps inspire greater social media loyalty, creating more rewarding opportunities for your brand.