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Interacting with your Audience on Social Media

In the final guest blog on social media management, Sian Ediss from Pixel8 Ltd explains how to interact with your customers to build relationships and drive brand awareness.

Missed the other posts? Here's Part 1 and Part 2.

Understanding how to apply your skills in building relationships offline to online, therefore having a deeper understanding of the science behind relationship building and how it can be applied to social media, can help your business build a valuable social community.

Perfecting your Brand’s Tone of Voice

Does your business have a tone of voice document in place? If not, start one now.

A tone of voice guide is incredibly valuable for all employees working across your business’ social media channels. Guidelines which include grammar rules, vocabulary styles, and example messages that will help to keep your social messaging consistent.

Consistency gains trust and builds loyalty - your social voice should be seamless and the audience should not be able to differentiate between different people working on the accounts.

I would recommend using first-person plural when messaging as a business or brand (we, us), even if you are a one-man-band, this will bolster your reputation as an established business. When you’re using your social channels as a customer service tool, and there are a few employees handling individual queries, you might want to consider personal sign-offs (e.g ^SE). This personalisation builds trust with your audience, as their query is being handled by a direct representative of the brand.

How to Spark a Conversation with your Target Audience

Twitter is by far the best social platform for encouraging a dialogue with your target customers.

The very nature of Twitter is a non-stop, worldwide conversation, and if your brand is not actively taking part you’ll be left behind your competitors.

A good starting point is to tweet about a current event in your locale, industry, or sector and get the opinion of your followers. If there are business awards taking place, for example, wish nominees good luck, start a conversation about who you think might win, talk about speakers at the event - remember you are talking to real people and use some charisma and charm to best represent your business.

If you’re not directly starting a conversation, you can jump on to relevant conversations too. Find conversations that are applicable to you and your business using the Twitter search function and offer your input. This can work particularly well if there’s a new business opportunity.

If you’re an event caterer, for instance, you would seek out people or businesses that are actively looking for these services. This is a really clever way to make your business and service seen, and a cunning way to win some new business whilst you’re at it!

Twitter Polls - A Tool for Audience Interaction

Twitter recently gifted a brilliant interaction tool for marketers, Twitter Polls. This function allows you to reach out to consumers and carry out some instant market research collecting some juicy data too!

Businesses and brands now have the opportunity to collate statistics from target customers. This might be their opinion on a new logo, a product launch, or attendance at an event, for example.

The life of a tweet is just 18 minutes according to Moz, so make it count and ensure you have promoted your Twitter Poll thoroughly. You can also use some Twitter Advertising budget to further boost your poll, directly promoting in front of your desired target audience.

Here’s an example of a poll I ran for Business Growth Hub, calling for an opinion on which #DigiEveolution Twitter Q&A was the most useful for them:

It was close, but you can see that 46% of voters said that the first #DigiEveolution Twitter Q&A ‘Building and Knowing your Audience on Social Media’, was the most informative and insightful for them. This is quantitative feedback that can now be used towards future Twitter Q&A campaigns - very handy indeed.

If you’re struggling to get people to take part in your Twitter Poll, the following technique will ensure you garner some results. If you link to the original poll in a new message and attach an image, you can tag your targets in the photo to alert them to respond:

Here we directly contacted participants in the Twitter Q&As, but you could easily apply this to customers or clients you want to discover the opinion of.

Social Media Customer Service - How to turn an unhappy customer into a brand advocate!

Many individuals turn to social media for an instant customer service response and the two key channels for this are Facebook and Twitter. Make sure you’re hot on this, if an individual reaches out to your business, try and respond within the first 30 minutes - this is the sweet spot.

Aim to offer a solution quickly, if they’re emotionally charged, offer a sincere apology too. Don’t just copy and paste a generic response, your audience will recognise this and it will instantly devalue your reputation. If you can resolve a query quickly and successful and ultimately have a happy customer at the end of it, this excellent service and your effort will be public for all the world (and your potential customers!) to see.

Your now happy customer will be impressed too, and will have nothing but praise for a business that took time out to handle their query and gain their desired result.

Interacting with your Audience on Social Media

How does your business build relationships on social media? What has worked to delight social media users to become a brand advocate and what hasn’t? Share your thoughts via @BizGrowthHub or find me at @foxcreativeart.

Enjoyed this article? For some great digital tools to manage your digital marketing content also see this great article featuring digital tools to increase your productivity.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the art of interacting with your audience on social media, and how other types of digital marketing can help you to grow your business, Enquire and Grow today. 

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Sian Ediss

Sian Ediss, Digital Marketing Manager, Pixel8 Ltd