Entering the dating world again, I cannot help but notice how similar dating is to engaging with a brand on social media. After all, let's face it, most of us probably spend more time on social media than paying attention to some of our dates. So I've created a little test for you to see if your brand is a first class date, or a dud that leaves the consumer moving on to their next date.
#1- Does your brand open the doors for your consumers?
My mom judged my college boyfriend on the fact that he DID NOT open the door for me when I went up to Jupiter, FL to have dinner with her. Let me tell you something, there was never a door that boy did not open for me after my mom had a few choice words with him. Ever since, that's been one of my first indications when going on a date with someone new. Let's just say that the non-door openers don't make it quite as far.
The same goes for your brand. Consumers shouldn't have to spend hours searching for your Twitter handle or your Facebook URL. If you want your fans to engage, open the doors for them! Add your social media logos and links to every piece of outgoing collateral, whether it be an email signature or a business card.
#2- Does your brand make good dinner conversation?
No one likes a silent date. I mean, if getting a word out of my date is like pulling teeth, I am already onto the next one. The same goes for brands. If your brand is silent, not answering the questions coming at it from all social networks, then your consumers will move onto the brand who is on social, answering those questions.
However, no one likes an overly-chatty date that talks about no one but himself, either. Arrogance is my number one turn-off on a date, and hence, in a brand. Don't enter the social space with a one-way conversation. Look for ways that you can engage with your consumers, asking them questions about their own experiences, so they feel included in your brand's voice.
#3- Does your brand call the next day?
I know, I know there is some three-day rule out there. Fortunately, I am the girl, and have never had to count to three. Honestly, with the emergence of the speed of social media, I actually find that I've moved on if the person has waited three days. I am onto a different conversation by then.
The same goes for brands-- that three day rule is no longer relevant. While you once had days to respond to written letters and emails, now consumers expect that highly visible FB message and/or Tweet to be answered ASAP.
They also expect follow-up. Absolutely wow your consumers by checking in after their first "date" with you and making sure that their experience was positive with your brand on social media. Don't let the conversation end after the first date.
If you answered 'yes' to all of the above questions, congrats on being a highly datable brand! If you answered 'no', there is still time to become a better date in the social media world. Just think of your brand as someone you would like to spend a lot of time with. Would you like to spend a lot of time with someone who is arrogant and doesn't follow-up with you? Or would you like to spend time with someone who lets you talk about yourself every now and then, and makes sure that the conversation continues after the first date?
-Marji J. Sherman