Let’s say you’re a representative of a delicious little shop we’ll call Hypothetical Restaurant. One day, while reading celebrity gossip and consuming important world news before opening up for the day, you see a notification pop up.
Hooray! Some generous soul has decided to tag the restaurant and give it a little social praise. You’re now sitting on a golden, albeit fleeting, opportunity. Brands live for this moment: an unsolicited, genuine compliment to your business on social media. Of course, you don’t want to let it pass you by, the only question is how you’re going to handle it.
Or how about we look at how you shouldn’t handle it? You know, for a change of pace. Here are three Twitter mistakes you should avoid when responding to client or customer feedback.
An auto-responder sounds great in theory, especially if you don’t have a dedicated social media specialist. In practice? Not so great. The response is meant to capture any kind of feedback you may have received, but you’re likely ensuring your response will never be truly relevant. You’re probably also leading your followers to assume your account is run by a robot.
Not a particularly clever one, either.
2) Trying way too hard
If this is the voice of your brand, go for it. If not (and we’re guessing it’s not), do not go for it. No matter how good your intentions are, people familiar with your restaurant will find it off-putting if you speak in a way that doesn’t align with your brand. It will sound like you’re trying too hard and that can be embarrassing.
Johnny is going to be turned off by the way you responded, and your engagement will come to a screeching halt. Be yourself!
3) Asking awkward questions
There is nothing wrong with asking a question on Twitter. In fact, questions can be a great way to create engagement if they’re relevant, timely, and encourage answers. The problem in the example Tweet is it sounds like Hypothetical Restaurant is fishing for Johnny to give a robotic answer about how fresh its ingredients are. Your heart is in the right place, but the execution… well.
So what’s the right way?
There is no one right way, which is probably not at all what you want to hear. Sorry! Your response will depend on who you are as a brand and what the person reaching out is actually saying. You probably have brand guidelines that describe your voice and key messaging. Now’s the time to consult those resources!
Most importantly though, just put yourself in the shoes of the person who has taken the time to reach out and say something nice about your company. Give them the attention they deserve and show them there’s a real live human on the other side of these ol’ interwebs. If you can sneakily promote your brand at the same time, well, that’s awesome.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to Retweet @JohnnyBlogex and add your own quick comment thanking him. It might look like this:
You’re not stringing out the interaction and you’re not letting the 100-page brand guide at your business force you into a robotic or timid response. You’re just highlighting a positive comment for everyone to see, and making our friend Johnny feel good about his shoutout.
Way to go, human!