How Social Media Messaging Isn’t Restricted to What You Post

The images and words you choose to include in social media posts are vital to brand building and long-term success, but the posts themselves aren’t the only messages your followers get. There are some things that aren’t written out in black and white (or color) that still speak volumes about your brand.


How Followers Read Between the Lines


Social media is one of the best messaging tools of all time. A tweet beats a telegraph, billboard or phone call any day, any time. But the account your posts are associated with can say something too, even by its very existence. From the social networks you choose to operate on to the amount of engagement you have with your account, there are high-level messaging opportunities involved in this kind of communication. It’s vital for businesses to pay attention to the big picture of what their accounts are communicating in addition to focusing on individual messaging.


For example, a business that posted regularly for several years and suddenly stops updating their account may seem to be in some sort of trouble. Even if this isn’t actually the case, when your social media becomes a ghost town, it feels spooky in a way that can be surprising. It doesn’t seem like that big a deal, but it can actually make customers wonder whether your business is still functioning or if you’re close to shutting down. Posting regularly is important not just because it keeps your audience engaged but because it shows that your brand is engaged and healthy as well.


Imagine that a prospective customer is doing some research and wants to find out whether your business seems like a good fit for their needs. This customer will probably visit your website and will likely check out your social media accounts as well. If they get to your Facebook page and see that your last post announced your holiday closures for 2015, that customer might assume that you’re no longer in business. In this sense, an abandoned social media presence might actually be worse than having no social media presence at all.


Multifaceted Audience Messages


The way you interact with your followers in the comments section matters quite a bit too. Fail to respond and your followers will eventually stop commenting. Respond in a robotic, repetitive way and they might feel slighted by how impersonal your approach is. The content of the message is important, but the high-level tone your messages set matter quite a bit as well.


Take the 2017 Equifax security breach and the way the company chose to react on social media. There was a lot of copy and pasting of responses to individual irate consumers. While this is understandable in some ways—the company was in crisis and had millions of angry people demanding answers all at once—the response also likely to be viewed as one of the worst examples of crisis management ever. It may have been better for the company to simply avoid responding individually and focus more on carefully crafted, sensitive mass messaging instead of repeating the same information over and over to individual people.


You may not be likely to experience a crisis of this magnitude, but it does provide a handy lesson. If you can’t actually treat individual commenters as individuals, it may be best to take a different approach to social media responses.



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