I am always impressed when I see a big organization interact on social media with the same enthusiasm as a startup. If they are going to survive, startups have to perfect an incredible level of personal care and a higher quality of interaction that put most larger organizations to shame.
Being big certainly has it’s benefits. But choosing to act big, as if people would want your product or service simply because of your size, can be a detriment to your online customer experience.
Organizations can create a powerful combination when they choose to think big but act small.
Acting small in your social media takes a lot of time and attention. You’ll have to hunt for people to interact with and you’ll invest energy in helping strangers all for the sake of potential relationships. That means it’s a lot of work with no guarantee of a sale.
Still up for it? If not, that’s cool. Here are some pictures of cute puppies to enjoy.
If you’re ready for the hard work, here are 5 ways you can start acting small on social media:
1. Act like no question is dumb.
When someone asks a question that seems to have an obvious answer, remember it may only be obvious to you. You are fully immersed in the world of your organization. These folks are just scratching the surface in the midst of their own daily life and they don’t have time to read everything you put out there. They trust you to know the answer so give it to them as if it’s the first time anyone has asked you. Even if the question actually is dumb, don’t act like it is.
2. Search for people talking about you.
It’s easy to respond to people who tweet at you or comment on your Facebook page, but that’s a low expectation for your online interactions. You should be using Twitter’s search tools to find all the tweets about you even if your handle isn’t in the tweet. Find Facebook groups where your customers interact and search for times when a post mentions your organization without tagging it. When you respond to those, you’re showing how much you value any conversation that involves your organization. Even if the conversation is negative, it could be the best way to show that you’re willing to go above and beyond to make things right.
3. Act like you’re a human.
Use social media as a platform to showcase the people that makeup your organizations. Humans interact better with humans. People don’t trust machines. I, Robot anyone? If you want to grow new relationships, then allow your content to be just as personable, funny, empowering, and inspirational as you are. Those interactions will be what turns potential relationships into committed ones.
4. Anticipate needs.
In the busyness of our week, it can be easy to give short/simple responses to questions or comments on our social media. It’s important to remember that few questions come alone. When someone asks a question, there is usually a follow-up or some form of loose end that they’ll realize later on. If you can anticipate it, then you’ll save them time and create a better online experience. So if someone asks about the registration deadline for your event, anticipate what else they might need to know (hotel ideas, discount options, schedule information, etc.) and ask if they would like that information too.
5. Be thankful for the little things.
Any time someone posts to your wall, RTs your tweet, or messages you, look for ways to show them how thankful you are for their interaction. Whether that’s sending private messages to people who like all of your Facebook posts or setting up a discount code for the person that RTs your tweets the most, it will go a long way to maintaining those good relationships. Let them know how thankful you are in the little things and you’ll build a foundation for all kinds of positive interactions. After all, if you only give better service and attention to customers when they cause a scene, you’re investing energy in the wrong kind of relationships.