This post is in response to Mitch Joel’s (TwistImage) request for our favourite social-media best practices. I have a few “Best Practices” but I’ve decided to focus on blogging for the purpose of this post.
I think everyone who uses blogging as their social-media platform should subscribe to this simple rule: Talk Back. Yeah, I know it’s in the “First Priniciples of Social Media” handbook, but you’d be surprise how many people forget that.
There’s nothing worse than being asked to engage with someone who actually doesn’t care what you have to say. Presidents get elected on the perception of how much attention they pay to their constituency. You wouldn’t vote for someone who didn’t acknowledge what you had to say, so why would you do business with someone like that?
By writing a blog post, you’re asking people to take time out of their day to pay attention to your company’s message…and maybe even talk to you about how they feel about that message. And when they do, you should have the courtesy to Talk Back. That doesn’t mean answering every comment individually, but it does mean that (at the very least) you acknowledge the contributions by your consumers – be it in your next blog post as a follow-on (“…a lot of you guys didn’t agree with my statements in the last blog post…”) or as a simple thank-you for their interaction. It’s the “social” side of social-marketing; the part that makes your consumers feel valued.
Of course, this best-practice is not limited to blogging. Talk Back should be standard best-practice at all times, at all levels of consumer-engagement. If you ask your consumers to talk to you, you need to be prepared to talk back to your consumers…often and on a regular basis. And if that seems like too much hassle, then perhaps you should stick to 30-second spots.