Digital communication has made connecting with others easier than ever, but with these new means of communication comes some obstacles for brands. Now that everyone has a voice and multiple platforms to share their opinions, companies need to be cognizant and responsive to customers’ issues. If an online complaint is not taken care of immediately, it has the potential to permanently damage a business’ reputation. Here are a few tips on how to successfully correspond online to ensure that digital communication helps, rather than hurts, your brand.
Because email marketing is usually sent to the masses, brands may think of it as a one-way communication tool, but that is not the case. According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing averages a $38 return on investment for every $1 spent. That’s a huge return, and something that businesses should definitely take advantage of. Although email is a great tool to communicate to a broad audience, businesses need to take the time to personalize in email marketing. For example, if a business is sending an email to their contact list encouraging them to RSVP an upcoming event, the company should first check if certain people on that list have already signed up. If so, those contacts should be removed from that email.
Along with communicating to masses, certain etiquette in one-on-one email correspondence is extremely important as well. Whether the communication is external or internal, it is important to always remember these few tips in everyday emails.
· Only use “reply all” when appropriate. This eliminates unnecessary emails to people who do not have to be involved in the conversation.
· Be thorough. Avoid back and forth emails if possible. Include all information needed in the first email to eliminate confusion and save time.
· Proofread. Just like negative customer feedback, avoidable mistakes can also damage a business’ reputation. Make sure to double check for spelling and punctuation errors.
Social Media Posts
Social media posts should be targeted and tailored for each outlet. Knowing what to do (and what not to do) on social media is the first step in successful social media posting. Because social media is part of so many people’s everyday life, a common misconception is that anyone can manage a company’s social media profiles, but that is definitely not the case. Social media should be managed by someone trained in writing and communication, who has full understanding of the company’s goals, tone and audiences.
Social Media Comments, Direct Messages and Mentions
If a customer is taking the time to talk to reach out to a business, the company should respond as soon as possible in the same way of the original communication. For example, if the customer commented on a post, the company should reply to the comment on the post. If conversation continues, the company should encourage the customer to private message the businesses’ page. It is important to reply publicly so that others know that the company addresses its customers’ issues, but if the conversation continues (especially if it is negative communication) it is best to transfer the conversation from public to private. It is crucial that companies dedicate team members and resources to reply to all feedback from customers, no matter if it is positive or negative.