My additions are in italics.
Can sponsored conversations in social media be authentic?
Yes, the trick is to be completely transparent that they are sponsored
Disney partnered with SavvyAuntie, an online community focused on aunts without kids. Melanie Notkin, who runs SavvyAuntie, tweeted about Disney’s Pinocchio movie in March 2008 to coincide with its Disney anniversary release. She tweeted about t themes in the movie, often in question form, encouraging others to respond. Her 8000 followers on Twitter knew that she was doing this for Disney (every tweet about Pinocchio had a special tag), but because the tweets were appropriate for the audience, entertaining, and authentic, the campaign was a success.
Should the voice you use in social media be anonymous?
No! Real people are easy to relate to. Faceless corporations are not
Your voice in social media can’t be anonymous. They have to be real people who are traceable; otherwise, they won’t be taken seriously. Now this may seem to be a bad strategy because so much is invested in the one person who’s playing the role of the voice, but it’s necessary. When making these decision, think about celebrity endorsements. People recognise that a celebrity may not be the permanent voice, but they would much rather be talking to someone with whom they can form a relationship and relate to even if it’s only for a finite period than an anonymous brand voice. The voice has to be real – it has to be someone people can find through Google.
Is your social media voice unique?
Real people are more engaging than clones
The voice should be irreplaceable. When the person goes on vacation, the voice cannot continue to participate and be responsive to customer queries. Someone else has to take over and introduce herself first. Think of it like a news anchor in a major TV channel who takes the night off. The replacement is a different person and that’s not hidden from the viewer
Are customer complaints via social media a problem or an opportunity?
A great opportunity!
When customers are struggling with products, they often complain about them in conversation with their peers or to other people who are facing similar challenges. You have a huge opportunity to listen in on these conversations, hear those concerns, provide customer support where you can, and learn from those complaints.
What do you do when you or your team makes a mistake?
We are human, we make mistakes. Decide what to do about mistakes now. Be upfront about the mistake, correct the errors immediately, accept responsibility.
Is your website the destination or the hub?
Interesting idea… But more applicable to huge corporates
If someone wants to know everything about your company – good, bad or ugly – he should feel that your website is the best starting point for him.
Design your website as a hub versus a destination and your website will immediately become more valuable to your customers. Even though this may mean that you’ll be pointing your consumers to external sites, they’ll always treat yours as a starting point in the future.
Mars redesigned the Skittles website so that every navigation item links to a different social platform. There is now only a home page. Click on the Products link and you’ll be taken to the Wikipedia page. Click on the video link, you’ll be taken to the YouTube channel. Click on the Friends link, and you’ll be taken to the Facebook page. While you move between all these platforms, the Skittles navigation box stays with you so that you can move between all the pages very easily.
Respond to everything, even if it means you’re up all night
For all the hype about social media, one important sobering fact remains: it takes an immense amount of work. Listening in on conversations, even with monitoring tools, is an exhaustive, time-consuming exercise.
A delay in your response adds petrol to the flames of a disappointed customer.