There’s no need to beat around the bush when it comes to the downside of owning a business. With every happy customer, positive experience, and excited comment on Social Media comes another side. The side with harsh online reviews, angry messages, and some unhappy people. Even if you do everything in your power to give your customers the best experience, it will still happen. As much as you may not want to, the best course of action is to respond. Not just any response though, but a carefully planned one. Having a social media action plan is crucial in maintaining your brand’s reputation. But that’s just the big picture. We’re breaking down what exactly it is, and the top reasons your business needs to implement a social media action plan.
What’s the Plan?
A social media action plan covers a number of topics. Simply put though, it:
- Defines the brand voice used on every social platform.
- Creates a plan to appropriately respond to comments and messages.
- Specifies social media policies for posting and engaging.
How to set it upYour company can follow a template or create a plan from scratch, depending on the needs of your company. They are more beneficial if they include all the pieces mentioned above. The goal is to split your plan into parts, with a clear direction for each.
- Brand: The plan should include brand words and phrases that define the voice. Pose questions like: What do the consumers want from your brand? What are three words to describe your brand? How do you want your brand to make people feel? What are words you would never use to describe your brand?
- Responses: Create a critical response plan: a list of possible questions, complaints or comments, followed with response options to use in those situations. This holds everyone accountable to an appropriate response to tough situations and ensures no comment or question goes without a response.
- Policies: Create a list of do’s and don’ts. Having them set in stone instead of just brought up in conversation holds everyone who touches the social outlets accountable. Even the smallest mistake or inappropriate comment on social will not go unnoticed and could be detrimental to your brand’s reputation.
What’s the benefit?
- Accountability: Having a plan means almost never questioning whether something is okay to post or not. When a voice and policies are written and shared with the entire team, it sets a standard of how the social media should be run. The policy should answer questions before they’re even asked. It’s better to implement the plan sooner rather than when a mistake has already been made.
- Reputation Management: As we mentioned before, not responding to comments and complaints is worse than responding. Businesses often can take negative reactions personally, leading them to avoid answering or act inappropriately out of anger. By having responses already planned, it decreases the amount of time you have to think about what should be said, or worse, what you want to say. Of course, each response should be personalized (we don’t want the customer to think a robot is answering their question), but it should follow a certain standard and voice.
- Consistency: Brand management and success in social media are dependent on a consistent voice across all platforms. Especially when multiple people are posting on your platforms, things can get a little messy and customers lose interest. Keeping the same voice constantly could mean better results from your social.
Need more of a social life? Check out all of our social media marketing tips on the Pepper Hub.
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