The One Piece of Social Media Most Brands Miss

by Morgan Alverson | May 16, 2017

Most businesses by now know they need to have a presence and be active on social media (and if you don’t, we need to talk). There are more than 40 billion small business pages currently active on Facebook according to Forbes. But there is one thing that I think most brands are missing, and it’s a big thing.


Actually engaging in conversation with followers (and even those that aren’t already following you) is one of the most important pieces of your social media strategy. This means replying to comments, retweeting, liking, sparking conversation, etc. How boring would it be if you were at lunch with a friend and they ignored you the entire time while they talked about themselves? That’s what it’s like on social media when you don’t engage with others. Engage with them not just as customers and followers on social media, but as humans. Let them know there is another human on the other end of that Twitter handle that is listening and cares. Engagement is the new customer service.

Engagement is the new customer service.

Why does this matter?

In a Sprout Social survey, social media was found to be the most preferred channel for customers to engage with brands. In that same survey, they found that 89% of social messages go ignored.

So most customers are turning to social media to engage with their favorite brands and more than 80% of them are getting ignored? That’s insane! And it can really hurt your brand when you continue to ignore your customers.

89% of social messages go ignored.

Social media is just that – social! It’s a two-way conversation. Be proactive and responsive in your social media efforts. Communicating with your followers is a valuable opportunity to create brand champions and advocates.

Here are a few ways to get started:

  1. Answer any questions from followers. When a follower is actively seeking you out on social media to ask you a question, they shouldn’t be ignored. Keep an eye on your accounts and make sure you’re answering questions as quickly as you can.
  2. Address any complaints. This is just as important as answering questions, if not more. Social media is the easiest place for customers to complain about your brand, products or services. Most don’t expect a response. This is your chance to respond quickly and make it right!
  3. Respond to anyone that mentions your brand. Make sure someone is checking your mentions and comments often, including those mentions that don’t appear on your page. (Tools like Sprout Social and Mention make this easy!) Engage with these mentions – reply to them, like or favorite, retweet, whatever makes sense for that particular mention. Ideally, someone would do this every single day. However, as a small business that just doesn’t have the bandwidth, make sure it’s at least twice a week. (See some great examples from brands here.)
  4. Ask questions that spark discussion and engagement. Followers will usually engage when you ask for it. Don’t just create posts that talk at them. Use your posts as a chance to ask questions and get your followers engaging with you.
  5. Create a list of influencers. Find those influential people in your industry and people that are already brand champions that you want to make sure you engage with on social media. Follow them and set up a list on Twitter. Check this list often and start engaging with their content.

Don’t just stick to your own accounts. 96% of the people that mention a brand on social media do not follow that brand. That’s why tools such as the two mentioned above are important in finding the conversations about your brand.

Listen. Engage. Respond. It’s important to your brand, and it’s important to your followers.

About the author

 by Morgan Alverson

Posts by this author