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Inbound Marketing Blog

    Start Your Engines: A Complete Guide to Social Media Engagement

    Posted by Bill Faeth

    How to Respond to Social Media Comments


    When it comes to social media for small businesses, engagement is among the most important metrics for gaging success. One key to keeping you promoters engaged is responding thoughtfully to every comment on social media. From positive feedback to negative comments, every piece of fan or follower engagement is an opportunity for your small business to display your customer service chops. Here are some top tips for responding to your leads and clients.

    Be Personal

    It's a fact that your clients choose small businesses because of customer service. If they wanted impersonal service or a client identification number, there are a million huge corporations that can treat them like customer #3001. When responding to any social media comment, always use the customers first name. Finish the comment with your own first name when possible, especially when working towards resolution. Saying "David, thank you for stopping by. We're glad you liked the caramel corn - it's my favorite, too! - Jane" is a lot more personalized than simply responding with "thanks!"

    Always Use Complete Sentences

    Single word responses to social media engagement might be appropriate for your personal account, but you should always make the effort to draft a more comprehensive response to your social media comments. Writing in complete sentences is a key part of how to respond to social media comments for small businesses. Drafting a longer, personalized response that does not seem formulaic is an easy way to show genuine appreciation for your fan and follower engagement.

    Ask Follow-Up Questions

    Asking follow-up questions in your response to social media comments is a win-win situation. Your clients love sharing personal anecdotes, and you can learn a little more about the people who contribute to your bottom line. Even if someone is just sharing a little note of appreciation, feel free to turn your acknowledgment into an invitation for a dialogue. Keeping conversations wide open for feedback is a huge component of how to respond to social media comments. Invite your clients to share additional feedback and thoughts about your products or services.

    Use Personal Anecdotes

    Small businesses should never be ashamed of the hard-working people that deliver great customer service and products day in and day out. When you're personalizing comments, don't be afraid to divulge a little social-media appropriate information about your team. By sharing something like "Chocolate cream is our Office Manager Lindsay's favorite flavor, too!" you can help customers feel a little affinity towards your employees. Sharing short, appropriate anecdotes can be a great part of how to respond to social media comments.

    Beware Twitter

    Don't forget that comment on a post on Facebook will not be noticed by very many people. However, a response on Twitter will be seen by all of your followers. If you're working towards a resolution, make sure your network knows that you are talking specifics, but take the conversation to a direct message, email or phone. Tweeting something like "Thanks for the feedback! I'm direct messaging you now" can let followers know the situation is under control without over sharing. 

    Avoid Politics

    Responding to comments that delve into inappropriate topics is tough. Your Facebook fans and Twitter followers may want to discuss current events. The best gauge for whether or not you should delete a questionable comment is asking yourself whether anyone on your fans list would be driven away if they saw the comment. Sometimes fan engagement isn't helpful to your business model, especially when it delves into taboo topics like politics or religion. One component of how to respond to social media comments is knowing when to hit the delete button.

    Don't Insult Your Competitors

    Giving business to your small company is a real decision that each of your contacts made at some point, and it probably wasn't arbitrary. Chances are, a few of your fans and followers had a negative experience with your competition and it's influenced why they're now buying from you. Knowing how to respond to comments on social media that harm your competitors belongs in any social media strategy. It's important to acknowledge your clients experience without engaging in a drawn-out discussion about other companies. Saying something similar to "Paul, we're sorry that happened to you. Thanks for the kind words about our product" is much classier than delving into gossip about other organizations.

    What is Your Policy on How to Respond to Comments on Social Media?

     

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    Topics: Social Media