Getting the basics right

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We’re a couple of months into 2015 now, and all the predictions and best of posts have (eventually) died down. One of the things that (I thought) was missing from all of them was getting the basics of CMing right.

Although social has been around for quite a while at this stage, I still meet (on a regular basis) with brands who have no overall social strategy, no content strategy, no process and who aren’t doing much in the way of reporting.

These brands are often the same ones who outsource to agencies to create all-singing/all-dancing social campaigns (the ‘fireworks’ if you’re of that persuasion) while no-one is worrying about what’s happening in the day to day.

Each week there’s more and more evidence that brands aren’t adequately listening and responding to their communities.

And here’s the thing, doing customer service well (i.e answering questions addressed to you in a timely fashion – making sure you’re monitoring to and responding to relevant brand keywords – ALL the things that make people feel all warm and fuzzy about you) is what gives you the right to be in the social¬†space,¬†pushing out what is to some extent, definitely brand messaging.

Social media, when done properly, is very much like real life. Behave respectfully of your community, don’t ignore them and then ask them to help/listen to/buy your stuff. They are people. Just like you are people.

Making sure you’ve got a content strategy, so there’s a reason for what you’re posting, instead of just ‘putting it on twitter’ because it came down from above. Following up on enquiries, making sure there’s a process in place so the right people are answering the right questions. Monitoring your levels of engagement so you know what people are responding to and over time you can figure out why. None of this stuff is rocket science, but it’s still neglected so often that I’m impressed when I get a good customer experience through social.

Also, please always hire a Community Manager. A good CM is worth their weight in gold – and much of the time their efforts will go unsung, because people don’t really ‘get’ what it is that they do.

There are loads of resources and loads of how to guides available, or you can hire someone like me to help you out. But please, before we talk about growing our audiences and creating massive campaigns, can we make sure that the basics are covered?

 

 

Anything to add ?