How to use social media better than big brands.

A recent article showed that a significant amount of big brands are not using social media as they should be for their audience.  This got us thinking that small companies can often be better than big brands when it comes to customer service and knowing what their customers want.  Here, I will look at how big brands are not using social media to their advantage and what you can do to ensure you don’t follow them!

1. With a lot of big brands, social media is often used as a customer service tool.  This is not necessarily intentional, but with some platforms being the preferred way for consumers to contact businesses, this is sometimes how it works out.  The thing with social media and customer service is that when a customer contacts you through a social media page, they expect a faster response than if they would have emailed you.  Recently, EE did not respond to a customer’s tweet for 19 hours, which is puzzling to me as I would expect them to have a 24 hour social media team.

There have also been instances of companies regularly ignoring tweets from customers and this is no way to go about creating a positive social media environment that customers want to come back to.

2. Big brands with dedicated social media teams should know better about the sorts of posts they upload and the type of content they are posting.  Social media is not a direct selling tool and should not be used as such.  However, some companies regularly post boring updates which create no engagement and encourage no interaction.

So how can you be better than these brands?

– Reply to your tweets quickly – as a small business, it may be hard to do this as you can’t spend all day on social media, but try to log in regularly and check your messages and notifications, or outsource to a social media company.

–  Don’t just reply to questions – if someone tweets you but doesn’t ask a question, you can still reply.  Try to do this as it starts conversation and encourages the consumer to engage further with the company, strengthening your relationship.

–  Think about what your customers want to hear about?  Put yourself in the shoes of your followers and customers and think about what you would like to hear from a company’s social media pages and what you don’t want to hear.  Use this to come up with some content to post from your accounts.

–  Pay attention to your analytics – look at the content you have posted and see which posts did better than others.  Which posts got more responses from your followers and what was it about them that made them respond?  Use the answers to these questions to generate better content and give your followers what they want to hear.

Marketme

Marketme is a leading small business to small business news, marketing advice and product review website. Supporting business across the UK with sponsored article submissions and promotions to a community of over 50,000 on Twitter.

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