To Engage or to Ignore: Responding to Your Social Media Followers

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Technical though it might seem at times, content marketing is really a very relational discipline. The entire point of businesses creating content and sharing on social media is to develop relationships with clients—relationships marked by loyalty and enthusiasm. You want to let customers and clients see that they can trust you, and in turn ensure that they remember your brand for all their future needs—and for that matter, that they recommend your brand to friends and family.

This makes engagement key—but engagement is a two-way street. When your readers start responding to your tweets or leaving you comments on your Facebook posts, that’s typically a good sign. It doesn’t mean your work is done, though; you’re now faced with the task of addressing these comments, as substantially yet as succinctly as you can.

Then again: Should you always respond to social media followers? Not only is that time-consuming, but it may ultimately be a waste of time—especially if your followers aren’t truly interested in engaging, but rather are just talking to talk.

The truth is, there are times when social engagement is imperative—and times when it’s just not worth the effort. Here’s our quick guide to the different types of social media commenters you might get—and how you should address them.

  • The Compliment Leavers. You’re going to get some followers—especially peers and colleagues—who stop by just to say thank you for the content, to tell you that they enjoy your blog, or to make some other general, positive comment about your work. We recommend that you make it clear that the feeling is mutual—that you appreciate them for reading and engaging. This doesn’t have to be anything too complicated. Just offering a quick thank-you for the comment or the retweet can go a long way toward solidifying that relationship.
  • The Question Askers. Some of your social media followers, on the other hand, might ask for your opinion on issues pertaining to your industry, or simply about your products—perhaps following up or asking for clarification on a point you made in your company blog entry. We recommend answering the question briefly but substantively, if possible—but if the answer requires more than a sentence or two, try to move the conversation to another venue. Ask to speak via e-mail or, best of all, by phone.
  • The Agitators. Some social media followers may simply want to stir the pot. Those who seem to be asking purposefully controversial questions may actually mean well enough, so providing answers is a good idea when you can. If people are simply being belligerent or putting down your company for no reason, the best response is no response at all: Ignoring a bully really is the best way to make the bully go away.
  • The Spammers. Finally, be prepared to get some comments or tweets that are pure, outright spam. You can probably guess what to do with these comments: Just ignore them.

In the end, content marketing isn’t just about content creation. It’s also about user engagement. To learn more on this important topic, contact the Grammar Chic team today at http://www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.

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