Daily Archives: 08/06/2012
Posted by Talknowledgy
It seems like, no matter how large the organization you’re communicating with, customers always have the same expectation: the guy or gal posting the tweets must know everything, see everything, do everything, and should in all ways be infallible.
Basically, you’re this guy.
Like Oz, you’re expected to be able to solve everybody’s problems and have an answer for everything (and God forbid you should give the wrong answer)! Like Oz, not everyone will be a fan of your solutions and so you might have to deal with a few cranky people every now and then. And like Oz, your real ‘persona’ is more like this guy.
These are important facts to remember when hiring a Social Media Manager, and when you’re interacting with brands over social media as a customer yourself:
- The larger the organization, the longer it might take to get a response. You may be able to get it quicker by emailing or phoning the department you want directly.
- When information has to pass through several channels before reaching you, errors can be introduced. I’m not saying all answers you receive over social media are incorrect, but you do need to recognize something could be lost in the retelling. (See also: telephone game)
- If your answer involves disclosing a large amount of personal information, a good Social Media Manager will simply direct you to the correct person and not attempt to answer your question. Still, you should always follow the account so you can direct message them, or send them a private Facebook message.
- Remember that the person posting to social media is probably not an executive or owner unless the accounts belong to a small business. Complaining about store or company policies, while effective at warning your friends and followers, will likely not achieve any change. (See also: slacktivism)
- Loaded questions are less likely to be answered publicly because (and this is especially the case with Twitter’s new “Conversation” system) it calls attention to the person who is complaining about your brand.
- Don’t post the question multiple times on Facebook! It’s spammy and, while others may have different approaches, I always delete the duplicates.
Above all else, don’t forget there is a person behind the tweets and they can be a lot of help to you. Regardless of your past experiences with the company or organization, there needs to be a clear line in your mind between ‘what the company has done to you’ and ‘what the Social Media Manager has done to you’ because one is a company and one is a person (and it’s likely not the same person who you interacted with both times).
What it boils down to is: it is possible to get your problems solved over social media, and I always encourage you to reach out and let the companies interact with know you exist. But oftentimes, you’ll discover you are best equipped to solve your problems. Just like Dorothy.