One hour. That’s the amount of time brands have to respond to social media inquiries and/or complaints before things go south, as indicated by 28% of consumers. A further 37% expect a same-day response to social media inquiries or complaints.
“Just DM them on IG. It’s faster than the feedback form.” That has become the general perception, with the public expecting a faster response by taking it to social media. After all, there’s greater convenience when consumers no longer have to be on hold waiting to be connected and they can leave their message any time of the day.
However, this poses a problem for brands due to a lack of resources and blurred working hours. Unlike physical ads and digital banners, social media lives on its terms. Social media is a dynamic space co-created by brands AND consumers. When social media algorithms are reportedly favouring consumption over connections, how can brands find their voice and tone?
We need to recognise and acknowledge that social media is not a “check off the list” task. While brands focus on churning out X number of posts monthly, community management is often overlooked. Users could be left hanging with unanswered comments and DMs.
Similar to content management, community management is part of the social media strategy. In fact, social media is an extended part of customer service. The first step is to ensure that all questions and feedback are attended to. Deploy tools such as the FAQ feature for business profiles or even AI-powered chatbots to overcome manpower constraints and serve international markets. The next step is to engage with generic comments. A simple “like” acknowledges the user’s presence. It’s similar to how you would reciprocate a smile in real life.
With an increasing focus on mental wellness, sustainability and transparency, consumers will be gravitating towards purpose- and value-driven brands in 2023. Brands have to realign their communication and social media strategies to convey their brand values and what they stand for. Permissive marketing is a long-term strategy and performative activism is an invitation to cancellation. It takes more than sporadic posts that sing along to the tunes of “International Days”. Without sounding like a broken recorder, consistently and creatively weave in brand values and updates in your social post.
Great content is just one part of the formula. To gain more followers, brands must ensure that the content is visible and accessible. For years, brands and users have been relying on #hashtags to make their content searchable. What if hashtags are no longer as effective as we think they are?
While the debate about whether social media is truly replacing SEO goes on, one thing for sure is that social media platforms are switching up their games. Keywords are now making their way into captions and profile descriptions on Instagram. TikTok has also immensely increased its character limit, facilitating users to discover relevant videos through content search. To optimise your TikTok SEO, use a combination of long tail and short tail keywords in the caption, native text overlay in video and even narrate that at the start of the clip.
With social media platforms prioritising interests and preferences, the question for brands is “What is the role of each social media channel in your brand strategy?