SKC Insights



The Four Times to Respond and the Three Times to Listen

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We've talked about why and who should keep a close eye on your business' social media feeds, and now it's time to go over how to respond to all of the tweets, shares, and comments about your business. All of that feedback is a great source of unfiltered news, but the sheer amount can be overwhelming.

Aside from the number of mentions, followers also demand to be heard. Over half of Twitter users expect a response from brands they reach out to in under an hour. So now, you have a crowd of people asking questions simultaneously and expecting a personal connection with your brand. How do you handle such a mob?

The trick is to find the influencers.

Not every tweet and mention has to be acknowledged, though you should listen to them. Responding to influencers is the best way to leverage the greatest reach and audience -- after all, it's all in their influence. Their engagement with your brand will trickle through their followers without you having to reach out to each and every one. You can determine who is an influencer by looking at the number of followers they have, how frequently they post on their channel, and their Klout score.

Sometimes it can be hard to tell if a person is an influencer and sometimes you might want to reach out to someone who doesn't fit the mold. In these cases, responding to these instances will depend on who the person is, what they said, and when they said it. For example, if someone is speaking positively about your business, you should almost always respond to let them know you appreciate the thought. On the other hand, if someone is purposely trying to anger other users, known as "trolling", it is best to sit back and listen. Remember, don't feed the trolls!

To help you decide immediately whether you should listen or respond, use these formulas:

When to Respond:

  1. Positive + False = Respond
  2. Positive + True = Listen or Respond with a thank you
  3. Negative + Not a Troll + Not a Rant/Joke + Erroneous Information = Respond
  4. Negative + Not a Troll + Not a Rant/Joke + Not Erroneous Information + Unhappy = Respond

When to Listen:

  1. Negative + Troll = Listen
  2. Negative + Not a Troll + Rant/Joke = Listen
  3. Negative + Not a Troll + Not a Rant/Joke + Not Erroneous Information + Not Unhappy = Listen

If you decide to respond to a mention, make sure that you do so quickly, respectfully, keep in line with your company's culture and values, include facts, and let the person know how you are connected to the company. Ultimately it will come down to your good judgement, but understanding that you don't have to run yourself ragged answering every little tweet will make your social media monitoring much easier.

For more tips on how to utilize media monitoring and accomplish your social media goals in ten minutes a day, download SKC's free ebook on social media monitoring.

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