Using Social Media to Engage Consumers
At our Keenan Summit this year, we were lucky to have Guy Yalif, thought leader from Twitter and Yahoo, speak about “Consumer Engagement through Social Media”. At first, I wasn’t sure if the subject would resonate with our audience. But as I spoke with Guy, and he went through some of the content he was going to cover in his presentation, I realized that it was great information for everyone at hospitals, public agencies and schools to hear about. Social media gives organizations a new channel through which we can reach an audience – whether it is parents at a school, patients at a hospital, or residents of a local community. Social media is ideally suited to humanizing our organizations and connecting directly with people. And that is something we all strive to do.
In Guy’s presentation, he said that as a channel, social media can be quite effective. For example, people remember messages 22% more often when they’re exposed to a Promoted Tweet than when they aren’t (source). Moreover, information shared via social media can create a 360 degree view of a topic or event, enabling everyone to share their perspective and voice. Social media can help “make the room bigger,” expanding both the reach and effectiveness of a message.
Here are some ways to use social media to engage with your audience:
- Educate in fun ways to generate interaction
- Create events and promote them in real time
- Participate in sponsorships and community events
- Build charitable and philanthropic activities
- Hold contests or scavenger hunts
- Convene online town meetings
- Run Q&A sessions
- Get ahead of issues, engage in positive crisis management
Some rules of thumb when using social media as a customer care channel are to engage people promptly and directly (especially if they are upset about something), celebrate positive interactions and comments, be conversational and personable, use humor when appropriate, and take a discussion off-line with an individual when necessary. Organizations should also create policy guidelines covering who will engage in social media on behalf of your organization, a consistent voice for all interactions, a clear process for that engagement, and topics that are and are not appropriate for social media interaction.
In short, social media can enable you to be more responsive, more helpful and more human. And that in turn can lead to better communication, stronger brands and happier constituents.
I’d like to encourage you to watch the video of Guy’s presentation to find out how you can better use social media at your own organization. And follow Keenan on Twitter to see how we put some of Guy’s ideas into practice!
About Charlotte Doepker
Charlotte Doepker is Vice President of Digital Marketing at Keenan. She is responsible for social media and non-social media. Follow her on Twitter for tweets about marketing and vintage 80’s videos.