23 Mar 6 Do’s and Don’ts for Engaging Online
Engaging with customers through digital is an integral part of operating a business in today’s society. Even though online engagement has become increasingly mainstream in recent years, a lot of business owners (or their staff) still lack the know-how to appropriately and effectively interact with customers.
You only get one chance to make a first impression. This old adage holds true online as well as in person. How you present your company and engage customers is extremely important. If you want to remain competitive in an increasingly digital marketplace, you have to learn how to build long-lasting relationships, retain customers and provide unmatched customer service. Here are six do’s and don’ts for online etiquette that will help you along the way.
1. Don’t argue with customers online
Although it might be tempting to hide behind your computer, it’s completely inappropriate to try to resolve tense situations online. If you see a problem escalating, the best move is to quickly take the problem away from the digital realm. Try contacting the person directly via phone and listen to what they have to say, making sure you fully understand the extent of the problem. Apologize, thank them for their business and do your best to resolve the issue – even if they’re wrong. This is an excellent opportunity to build a relationship with your customers, encourage repeat business and show your cliental how much you value them.
2. Don’t be a bystander
Don’t stand back and watch what others have to say! If you see a conversation – positive or not – about your brand on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or elsewhere online, take a minute to add your two cents. Is someone praising your product or a customer service experience they had? Great! Be sure to thank them. And here’s a tip – this is a great chance to engage with a wider audience and raise awareness for your brand. How? Share their post or comment on other social media platforms to show other potential or existing clients how your brand stands out from the competition. Likewise, the conversation takes a negative turn, step in and do your best to resolve it early. Or, try offering your point of view in a neutral, professional way.
3. Don’t post anything inappropriate
Every single thing you do online is a representation of your brand and company. You are always under scrutiny. Never post anything unprofessional – no lewd remarks, unsavory pictures or anything that can pick a fight (politics, religion, etc.). It’s a lot easier to destroy a company’s reputation online than it is to build a great one. By posting foolish remarks, you could lose your company business before a potential customer even knows what you do. Some businesses might fall in the gray area here, where posts with a certain degree of shock value may incite sales and attention. Even so, think twice about what you post. Ask yourself, does this post portray my company the way I want it to? Will this post help me engage with customers in a positive way?
1. Do engage customers through contests
Contests are a fabulous way to build excitement around your brand, especially on platforms like Facebook where they can go viral. The benefits of contests are twofold: they reward loyal customers while also creating buzz that draws new visitors to your page. There are a ton of different options for social media contests, so don’t be afraid to get creative. Keep your target audience in mind and pick the option that will create the most engagement. A contest that requires comments, for example, will engage customers more than a “vote to win” contest
2. Do pay attention to timing
Timing is super important when it comes to engaging customers online, especially on social media. Posting regularly is a great idea, but try to do it when you know people are going to be checking their feeds. The best times are around lunchtime and in the evening when people are home or at lunch and have free time to check Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms. This also applies to email campaigns. Try to send out email forms of engagement first thing in the morning so that it hits a person’s inbox before they read their daily mail. 3. Do use photos to tell your story
3. Do use photos to tell your story
Photos and memes are central to our digital culture. If someone is scrolling through social media or surfing the web, photos are a lot more likely to catch their eye than words. Photos are one of the best ways to engage customers because they have the potential to say everything you want to in the blink of an eye. They’re also a great way to raise awareness for your brand, especially if people like or share your post. Even better, try incorporating photos into a contest and urging your followers to share it for a chance to win a product or service. This way you can interact with loyal customers, engage new customers and promote your company. It’s a win-win-win!
Do you have any do’s or don’t for online engagement that have worked for you? I’d love to hear them. Post below!