Humility is a pretty damn important thing to me in life. It is the #1 thing I look for in others, and a high expectation I have of myself. The moment I notice ego in someone, I quickly gravitate towards someone else. Maybe it stems from my faith and belief that God is responsible for my talents and path in my life, or maybe it is because I had incredible parents that instilled a strong set of morals and values in me from birth. Whatever the reason, it's there, and I think it plays an extremely important role in my ability to execute effective social media strategies.
Why? Because it allows me to look at social media through the lens of the consumer, rather than the lens of myself all of the time. I am genuinely grateful for every Tweet, comment, message that comes through via social media, whether it is to me, or to a brand I am working with. I understand that it took time, and effort, from that fan to interact with me, and I want to make sure I am giving the same amount of time back to them. Granted, this becomes super difficult when working with larger brands, but it's still possible to respond with authenticity. And, let me tell you something, fans KNOW when it is not an authentic response.
While this is my view, I've come to realize, especially in the past few months, that it is not everyone's. I cannot even begin to tell you how much it irks me when a follower with a couple hundred followers sends me an AUTOMATED message. Are you joking? You really don't have time, with that few of followers, to send out a quick, genuine note? And, if you're going to be brash enough to do that, at least remove the "sent via unfollowers.com" link from it. I immediately want to disengage with that person, because it's obvious they have no intent to genuinely engage with me.
I feel the same way about large brands, as well, though. Just because there is a larger quantity of messages coming in, does not mean you have an excuse to ignore them or send cookie-cutter messages out. That completely goes against being 'social' on social media. If the quantity of messages is too high for your brand's team to respond, then hire a larger team! Invest in social media, and you will be shocked at how much you get in return. You cannot put a price tag on the feeling a consumer receives when a favorite brand genuinely engages with them. It will go much further than you think. One excited Tweet can lead to a thousand water cooler conversations about the coolest brand ever that responded to them.
Humility is key in social media. You have to be grateful for every fan that has taken the time to engage with your brand. I am just as stoked about my 63,000th follower, as I was about my 73rd. To think that people care about what I have to say, and give input my online conversations, is so amazing. You must have this same humility and same awestruck feeling as a brand when consumers engage with you. Period.
- Marji J. Sherman