3 steps to take on proactive outreach through social media
So, you say you’re already doing a great job using social media? Fantastic! Social channels are great for promoting your brand, building relationships, enhancing the customer experience, and even for providing customer care.
But let’s cut right to the chase: social media is about growing your business. Beyond listening to what your customers are saying about your brand and reacting to it, social media gives you the perfect means to build engaging conversations with your community and provide excellent social customer service. Moreover, it also allows you to discover new potential sales opportunities and improve customer loyalty
Step #1: Set Up & Monitor A Keyword Search
First, you need to know how people are talking about your brand by tracking the right conversations to start engaging with potential customers. Start a new topic within your social media tool and make your keyword query as tight as possible to unlock these opportunities.
To make sure you’re not missing out on any questions or complaints, start monitoring your brand for the following signals:
- Customers that reach out directly to your brand, for example, either through a general Twitter account or through a dedicated customer service account.
- Customers or potential customers who are talking about you and your brand without directing their comments to your account.
- People asking specific questions or talking about specific issues that are relevant to your business. “I need better insurance,” or “I really need a new car,” may be relevant keywords to track depending on the type of products or services you offer.
To enable proactive outreach, create a new, separate topic with a specific keyword search. Determine which specific keywords are relevant to you. Once you have set this up, you can periodically go into that topic and tweak the keyword search to make sure you’re still tracking the right mentions.
Step #2: Create Specific Engagement Guidelines
To make sure your entire team is on the same page, create specific guidelines for everyone to adhere to. Your social media outreach needs to be organized if you want to be efficient and keep a consistent brand message. Don’t just jump into it without a concrete plan or you’ll quickly notice your efforts aren’t paying off.
Here are some concrete, useful tips to bare in mind when creating engagement guidelines for your social media team to follow up on:
- A lot of companies’ biggest concerns is becoming too spammy or manipulative by invading someone’s privacy. Use a real person’s Twitter account to reach out and engage like a real person. If your agents are engaging with their own, personal Twitter accounts, make sure the profiles have a real and authentic feel to give your company a human face.
- A perfect conversation-starter doesn’t really exist. However, there’s one golden rule: be as short as possible. Also, try not to be too direct (of course, make sure you’re not deceiving or misleading either!). People don’t like pushy sales techniques and definitely don’t want to be the subject of your online sales pitch.
- Use a lighthearted tone. If you’re too pushy, people will easily tune your messages out. Showing a sense of humor will make your message easily resonate with your audience.
- Customer engagement increases as your social media team is engaged in the project at hand.
- Create around 5 to 10 tweets you can use and make variations once you’re actively replying. Make them 100% in step with your brand. Make sure you have an approval process in place to avoid posting something that’s off-brand.
Step #3: Become A Pro in Proactive Outreach
If you’re already using social channels for branding or customer care purposes, becoming a pro in proactive outreach shouldn’t require extensive training. It’s simply an extension of the social media best practices you’ve already been using. However, you need to be flexible to create certain goals and change them along the way. Also, be agile enough to switch around and tailor your replies to a certain audience.
Labeling conversations or tagging extensively is essential to identify the key conversations. Beyond tagging complaints and specifically labeling what complaints are about, keep a clear overview of the replies. That’s why you need strong and in-depth metrics to help measure your lead generation activities and track the ROI.
Based on these tags, create reports to see how many times you reach out proactively and keep a general overview of the brand. Don’t just tag negative complaints, but break them down and label positive mentions as well. Empower your team to share their success stories. Reaching out proactively only works if you combine your efforts and work well as a team. Make it truly a team effort.
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