A look at the importance of content moderation in Social Media
Social media, blogs, forums and the like are outlets for people to express themselves, to share experiences bad and good with their connections or with people of similar interests. As a business, whether you actively use social media or not you are probably on it. You see, when people need to vent about a business the first place they take to now is the internet, a forum, a group or a social network. Whether this is to vent about a bad experience, scream from the rooftops about their joy or just discuss with others wethers to to use you or buy your products. Ultimately if you as a business aren’t on social media or you aren’t ‘social listening’ then you could either be missing out on new business or the opportunity to show your amazing customer service. It’s like turning a blind eye to what people could be saying about you.
Jargon Buster: Social listening is watching or setting up keyword searches so that if someone is talking about your biz you will be able to listen and respond quickly
How to manage customer feedback effectively
It’s one thing to be on social media and to be listening to what your customers or potential customers are saying about your business and another to actually deal with them in a respectful manner (especially if they are negative or bad reviews.) Seeing bad comments about your business, products or customer service can be very disheartening, as a business owner you may take this personally and can sometimes mean you want to reply quickly with an emotional reaction. This is almost always the wrong way to deal with the situation. To leave it is also not a great idea. Think about passing the responsibility onto someone else within customer service or respond in this manner:
Dear (Customer) Sorry to hear that your experience wasn’t exceptional ;-( – Could you email me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will see what we can do?
This is enough to show you care to the public and you are also able to take the conversation to a more private platform to resolve any issues. job done.
‘Honesty and a timely response are crucial when dealing with negative comments on social media. Mistakes happen and if they do, it’s best to be transparent. It’s easy to suffer from ‘brand bias’ and try to defend your company by covering it up or appropriating blame elsewhere. Hold your hands up and be honest – customers appreciate it in the long run.’ – Says Hannah Rainford, Senior Social Manager, Jellyfish
Hannah Rainford adds: ‘It’s wise to prepare replies to potential queries in advance so that your community manager can respond quickly and appropriately. There’s nothing worse than leaving a negative mention without a reply. Even if you can’t solve the issue immediately, let the person know you’re working on it.’
Dealing with this negatively and publicly is a dangerous game! Businesses have been broken due to the negative way that have responded to to negative feedback on social media.
A very good example of when it goes very wrong was when american small business owners received an influx of bad reviews (they also appeared on Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares) Instead of trying to rectify the situation or to apologise for their mistakes they took to social media to insult their customers. Needless to say they received even more bad attention. The actual posts are too offensive for print!
Dealing with trolls
Upset customers and trolls are different things, normally your customers who head online to complain have a genuine upset whereas trolls don’t.
What is a troll?
A Trolls purpose is to make a deliberately offensive or provocative online posting with the aim of upsetting someone or eliciting an angry response from them.
When it comes to genuine trolls the best way to deal with them is to delete their comments and brush it off. Trolls feed on response and upset, don’t feed them, delete them and they will go away. Never let a troll make you feel anything even if they are abusing you, you can block trolls easily on social media and report them to the networks. That’s it!
The role of professional social media management agencies
A social media management company normally creates a social media strategy, manages the content creation and engagement for your social media accounts. A good social media manager or management company will start by understanding your needs and goals as a company. A social media managers job is more than simply posting updates! They need great creativity and design skills, the ability to pick up your companies tone of voice, to react quickly to conversations about your business or possible business and to be able to measure and analyse the social media campaign activity. The ability to create conversation / engagement and to react to comments quickly is also a social media management must.
There are pro’s and con’s for using an external resource to manage your social networks. If you are lucky enough to have the resource in house, the good news is people can be trained to do this well, as long as you have some good social media guidelines in place. Of course if you outsource to a reputable company, you know you’ll be getting a professional who is able to get stuck in immediately.
“We manage all our social media accounts in-house and it has really helped us boost our visibility, outreach and even resulted in direct sales leads. By doing all our social media internally and having the core team use their own accounts, we can ensure we appear authentic, connect with people and have a personality that people can trust.
There is obviously risk associated with this and by having unmoderated social activity, we are aware that one of our team might be saying things that might not be well received all the time. To counter this, we have some broad guidelines but we ultimately trust our team to say and do the right thing.” Says Sarat Pediredla – Hedgehog Lab
A version of this article was published in SME Magazine
Nearly 70% of businesses use Twitter for Business in order to keep in touch with clients and market their products and services. Not every business though, is using Twitter effectively. In this post I have put together a few do’s and don’ts to help you get off the ground and use your twitter account as effectively as possible.
It can be irresistible to simply upload a load of promotional tweets through a scheduling tool and leave Twitter at that, but that won’t get you any real engagement and this strategy adds no value to an audience. Engagement comes from reaching out to people, joining in conversation, asking questions and being present. It’s really important that you remember this when you start using Twitter for business. It’s like walking in to a big room and saying hey i’m here look what I sell – and hoping for the best. Whereas you could walk into the room as start talking to people, asking out about them and building relationships. Try and treat your social networking strategy like you would treat your ‘real world’ strategy and you’ll almost instantly see results and feel less alone on Twitter.
Don’t just share your own content, share others posts and retweet interesting content from people in your network, show that you are able to collaborate. You’ll also find people more willing to share your tweets if you make an effort to share theirs.
This may be a business Twitter account but that doesn’t mean you have to be straight laced and inhuman. Instead of simply posting your business or promotional tweets, try to show the lighthearted side of your business. What happens in the print room? or where have the team visited today? People build relationships with real people and not a logo. Remember this when you are planning your content. Show people you are real, and that you are ready to strike up a conversation with them.
Try to ensure you use twitter regularly, simply posting a heap of tweets one week and then being nowhere to be seen the next show’s you aren’t dedicated to your followers. A simple way to do this is to schedule your posts a week in advance using Hootsuite and ensure you use your smartphone Twitter app to interact with people when they engage with you.
Be Too Random
Before you start posting on twitter, try to have a strategy of in place, even if it’s just a small idea of what you will do. If you are too random, it’s hard to measure your success. You will also find you may post irrelevant content, or share information for the sake of having content on your feed. Also be sure not to tweet about politics or religion from your business account (unless the nature of your business) This can really alienate people if they have a different belief. It can be so easy to simple retweet something from a political party, and this is fine when it’s from your personal account. The best way to put a plan together is to brainstorm content ideas and schedule them in advance and be clear on the type of content your business account should retweet or re-share.
If you are aggravated with a companies customer service try and resist the urge to publicly argue with them over Twitter, especially using your business account, this can seen very negative to your followers and they vibe you want to be giving is a positive one! Similarly if someone is upset with your company and they begin to court you negatively in public, simply deal with it swiftly and publicly rather that deleting them, turn the conversation into a positive one something along the lines of: ‘Sorry to hear that! We would really love to make this right with you. Please DM me now and I will make this a priority’ – This way you are publicly showing you have great customer service.
Be Too Salesy
Try not to be a sleazy sales person who simply tweets out offers and services all day! To say ‘I have this for sale – get it now’ all day long is adding no value and it comes off as a bit desperate! Try instead to answer questions and provide case studies and use the soft social selling technique of offering value and help, this way people will be super warmed up to you when it comes to making a buying decision.
Which social network is best for me and my business?
This is a question that many people ask. And there are now heaps of channels and social media platforms a business can get set up on for free, some are more popular than others. Each social network has it’s advantages and of course some have disadvantages. It has to be said that you don’t necessarily have to be active on all of the networks otherwise you may find you will be spreading yourself too thin. However it is a good idea to create your profile or username on as many as possible so to secure it. However it is important that with the social networks you do choose, that you are consistent and you are updating them regularly with quality information and with the intention of being sociable and engaging with your audience.
Let’s look at some of the more popular networks.
Lets cover just a few:
And this is before you’ve even covered some of the ‘less obvious’ social networks, or the networks that skirt the borders of how we define social media. These include:
Yes! There are heaps to choose from. So where should you as a coach or business begin?
As I mentioned, you should at least secure your handle or username on each network. To be consistently engaged on all networks would be a hard slog and each network is more suited to different age groups and audiences. Therefore the best course of action is to define your social media goals and try to understand who your audience is and what they want – where they hang out, is it a numbers game? Are you looking for quick results? If this is the case then Facebook and Twitter are huge social networks where you have the ability to gain traction fast, especially through the Facebook ads application. Sadly! It’s not all about numbers! It’s about targeted numbers, in short it’s about getting to as many of the people who are more likely to buy from you as possible. You’ll also want to think about the right time to reach your target audience and what langauge and content you’ll use to reel them in. That’s why defining your target audience is so important. Let’s take Pinterest for example: Pinterest has the largest female population of all social networks, it also lends itself to creative and visual topics. If you have a food blog or a fashion shop then Pinterest could work really well for you. If you target businesses or are B2B Pinterest may not be the very best platform for your brands time. However Linkedin and Twitter could be perfect for this.
In a nutshell to decide which social networks are right for you to focus on you’ll need to ask yourself these 3 questions and work it out from there.
Who is my target customer?
Where does my target customer hang out?
What content does my target customer enjoy?
Remember when it come to marketing there is no silver bullet. – Sometimes you’ll need a little trial and error before you work out which is best for you and trial and error is not a waste of time…. it’s a learning curve
[Tweet “trial and error is not a waste of time…. it’s a learning curve “]
Are you a Twitter newbie? Have you been told that Twitter is an epic marketing tool for small and big business alike? And now you want to get started? – This guide to Twitter is a great place to start. In this guide I will explain what Twitter is and how you can use Twitter for business.
I am sure you know of twitter! Or have heard of twitter but are you using it yet? And are you considering using it for your business? Lets start by introducing you to Twitter:
Twitter is one of the biggest and most popular social networks n the world. Classed as a micro-blogging site. Millions of people, individuals and businesses post tweets or broadcasts (small 140 character posts) every single day. These tweets, consist of text, images, links, video and now small surveys.
What can users do on Twitter?
Follow – Follow other users
Unfollow – Unfollow users
Block – Block users you don’t want to interact with
Tweet text – Send up to 140 character tweet (text)
Tweet images – As your image takes up space there is less space for 140 characters
Tweet short video – this is a 2015 feature where you are able to create a short video and upload straight from your smartphone
Tweet Survey – A new feature is where you are able to add a 2 answer survey to your tweets.
Tweet Gif – An animated image
Retweet others Tweets – Using the RT icon you are able to retweet other peoples content
Reply to Retweet
Like tweets – Liking by tapping the heart icon on others tweets (was favourite and a star icon)
Hashtags – Using this # symbol with some text like this #socialmedia to follow a trend or event hashtag for example
Pinned Post – You can pin an important post to the top of your profile
Direct Message – Directly message any user privately
Ad profile image – Starts with an egg but you upload your own image
Add cover image – This should reflect your brand or personality
Include a bio – No explaining required
Include web address – You may include a clickable website link
Lists – You are able to create lists of people and brands
Advertising – Twitter ads is a platform you can use to pay for advertising on Twitter to reach more users
Analytics – Twitters built in tool to help you analyse your interactions and traffic
3rd Party Applications – Applications created by others to work with Twitter
In a nutshell users are able to send promotions, create conversation, respond, send direct messages, retweet others tweets and so on.
The Twitter website / platform can be used via your desktop, laptop, tablet or through a mobile phone app.
So how can you use Twitter for business?
Twitter is free. It’s a social network and for business you can use it in many ways. Twitters default setting is public where as many others aren’t. This makes it particularly useful for connecting with many relevant people in your industry without having to wait for acceptance. If you wish to join in with a conversation on Twitter you can use a hashtag, this way you can join a conversation or topic without having to actually follow someone and vice versa. A hashtag is this # symbol followed by words. You can see what hashtags are trending and join those conversations or create your own hashtags to track how far the conversation about your brand has reached.
On Twitter you are able to follow as many people as you wish (up to 2000 before you have reached 2k followers). This platform is perfect for sharing your blog posts and valuable information for more visits. For building your brand and for building meaningful relationships which can of course lead to more business.
Influencer marketing is the art of reaching out to people within your industry or niche with a huge social media influence and getting them to share your content to their large, engaged audience.
The point is that if an influencer shares your content, it’s almost like a recommendation or a leg up. And to have someone so influential in your industry do this, could mean you get loads of exposure for your own products, services or content to exactly the right audience, recommended by someone who they really look up to.
There are several ways to go about influencer marketing, here are some ideas:
Ask for Retweets on twitter by reaching out directly and publicly, this isn’t that much of a nuisance to them just make sure the content is relevant and of interest to your target influencer.
Write a blog post about your influencer or influencers, that is helpful for your reader yet includes a little ego stroking for your target influencer.
Write or vlog about a recent article your influencer has written and explain why their views are so important for your audience.
Meet your influencer in real life! – This may be a little harder but if you go to industry conferences you are likely to bump into that big publication or top journalist in your industry, talk to them, connect and share an image of you together on social media, this is a great way to connect offline and online and then make that social media connection (This happened to me! Deborah Meadon – Dragons Den – Has retweeted me! and said i’m so good at social media!) – This can give you and your business and credibility a huge boost.
Start small and work your way up. Start with your local news outlet or niche publications and when the time is right to reach out to the Richard Branson’s, you’ll know!
Be resilient, it can take time to get influencers to notice you. Keep posting great content, share your views with influencers and always thank them when they do share your content. Don’t be too desperate or overly spammy! This is a one way ticket to getting yourself blocked or called a stalker.
Are you curious about growth hacking? Have you spent time on social media and seen this buzz word being banded about like nobodies business? – Unfortunately marketers like buzz words but that’s no good for small business owners and those starting out in online marketing, it can be confusing when you are simply trying to understand the basics and cut through the noise. So I am going to take the time to explain some of these marketing buzz terms for you! So what is ‘Growth Hacking in plain english?’…
Growth Hacking is a buzz word meaning to hack or to cheat the system for growth, so you don’t have to spend the time doing monotonous jobs like growing a blog organically or slowly. Basically it’s taking a fast route to where you need to get, like getting a huge social media following fast or getting thousands of viewers to your blog quickly by creating a system that well.. ‘cheats the system’.
Growth hacking is where you can find a fast process or system for success for growth but very quickly. Normally to grow your business fast by finding a quick route to selling more products or services with social media or online marketing. There are real people out there who do ‘growth hacking’ as a real job. They aren’t meant to replace your whole marketing strategy but find ways to help you get there quickly and grow quickly which for a start up can be essential. The aim of a growth hacker is to help you grow your business and quickly using various systems and strategies. The growth hacker may analyse campaign results and rinse and repeat over again until the desired result is achieved.
Growth hacking is a good thing (in my opinion), for me it takes the wishy washy out of online marketing and leaves you with a goal in mind that you must achieve fast to grow your business quickly.
Blogging CAN grow your business, it’s true. I write this after completing the amazing 30 day blogging challenge with Sarah Arrow (The blogging queen) at Sark EMedia.
As an online marketer I know already the benefits of blogging for business but until I embarked on the blogging challenge to create my own content daily for 30 days did I realise exactly how powerful blogging is. If I am honest I didn’t complete 30 posts in 30 days! It took me more like 90 days! But having said that it’s been immense for me. Not only have I grown my blog traffic, gained business enquiries but I’ve also been published in various business magazines and website. If that’s not enough, i’ve learned so much too.
The truth is it was so good for me I am going in for a second round. The great thing about taking a blogging challenge is that it get’s you writing and get’s you into a routine. If you thought you couldn’t come up with 30 posts in 30 days let alone 30 posts in a year you are very very wrong! Under Sarah’s expert guidance you will do it!
Each day you’ll get an email with more expert marketing and blogging advice from Sarah Arrow. You are also invited to become a member of the 30 day blogging challenge facebook group. Once inside, each day you post your blogs you have written and if you’d like to, encourage and comment on others blogs. The community is awesome too!
So there it is! My short and sweet review of the blogging challenge – which you can join here – When I say it changed my business life – I meant it! – At the end of the day we all have something to say, here’s your chance to release that information in a supportive and collaborate environment.
Video, whatever way you look at is so powerful for getting your message across, people prefer to watch than read through long drawn out blogs. Many people are also too busy to read long blog posts yet can watch or listen to your video whilst multitasking. Periscope live stream is like recorded video because it can be viewed again and again within 24 hours via the app and afterwards using tools such as Katch.me, having said that LIVE video broadcasting is more powerful than normal, pre recorded video, here’s why:
It’s Right now and It’s Real Time
Do you sometimes watch videos and just think, this looks all a bit, well.. false? A bit too rehearsed? You don’t get this with live broadcasting on Periscope, it’s right now, it’s realtime, it’s quirky, it’s unexpected. Live broadcast makes you seem more human. There’s no hiding, or practicing 100 times to get the right look or angle and the content comes across like it should, like you are having a conversation. With Live broadcasting people can expect the unexpected, you never know when they’ll be a ‘peri-bomb’ (where someone literally jumps on your scope – normally animals and small children!) But that’s all part of the fun and the real – authenticity of delivering content through live broadcast. It’s certainly a lot more fun and entertaining.
Live interaction with your audience!
Periscope is a two way conversation unlike pre recorded video. People can comment and ask you questions in real time and you can respond instantly live. Your video broadcast becomes more real, authentic, relevant and in the moment whereas by the time you’ve delivered and edited pre recorded video it may be dated and viewers may not feel compelled to comment or share.
Periscope Live Broadcasting is Easy
You need a smartphone and the Periscope app! Then you just press the record button and you are ready to go live! That’s it. If you have followers and great titles and content you could have thousands of views throughout 1 video! You can also save the video to upload to you tube later, people are also able to comment and share the video on periscope for up to 24 hours. This makes live broadcasting easy for everyone, you can be anywhere at anytime and have just a phone and a decent 3/4g connection or wifi and you can go live. You don’t have to be somewhere special with the special lighting and equipment, Periscope is not about that, it’s about making a connection with your audience. With pre recorded video there is so much more to think about!
Pre recorded video will always have great benefits but live broadcasting is so much more powerful, authentic and engaging. Plus it’s free! no pre production or post production costs and very little messing about.
I’m launching a new online course! Getting started with Periscope – The 30 day challenge! – Register your interest below and i’ll notify you when it launches.