There is no doubt that marketing, PR, and even customer service are now being overtaken by social media (or it could be the other way around too). Social media platforms Facebook and Twitter now make it incredibly easy for customers and fans to get in touch with their favorite brands, companies or businesses. Having at least one of these accounts is practically a must these days. If a major company doesn’t have one, it is missing out on all the marketing and PR opportunities social media can offer to anyone and everyone.
This brings us to our point of discussion today: quality control in social media.
Why Is It Important?
You know how it is in manufacturing where QA (quality assurance) officers take random samples off their produced batch to test the quality of the product? They do this to make sure that no customer will end up with a defective or substandard product. They do this to make sure that no customer will have a reason to complain—or worse, make such a big deal about it in public.
This is what online marketers also need to do. Their “products” are the promotional materials and content they produce. Whatever product or service is being delivered by the business or client is the responsibility of the business or client. Marketers, especially social media marketers, need to make sure that their promotional content and the manner in which they are delivered are relevant to the brand and its goals.
We’ll go further into relevance and goal-oriented content in a moment. For the meantime, let us emphasize the importance of quality control.
Rules to Follow for Quality Control
What do you have to check when QA-ing social media promotional posts?
- Absence of offensive words, insinuations, and implications.
- Tone of voice must be in line with what the brand or company is hoping to project to its customers.
- Any information posted must be accurate and approved by the brand/business/company.
Those are the basic rules for checking the quality of each social post. Of course, there are also SOP’s that should also be considered by marketers:
- No matter how rude a customer or commenter is, don’t strike back with rudeness.
- Be classy and professional with your posts and responses.
- That doesn’t mean though that you can’t be casual, although this is a matter of choice for the brand. If they want to maintain a professional distance between them and the customers, then professional and standard replies should be in order. If they will consent to casual interactions with individual customers, then marketers can be more casual and personal with their replies.
- If you’re going to post something irrelevant to the brand, acknowledge the irrelevance of the post and invite your customers to weigh in on the subject. This can encourage interaction with your followers. Strategy-wise, interactions–even a mere like in Facebook–can help ensure that your audience will consistently receive updates from you on their feeds.
- If a post does well in one social media platform, post it in other platforms as well.
- Do not ignore customers who will post their questions or complaints on your social media walls. They can wreak so much havoc if they are the impatient type.
- Do your best to appease negative commenters, but don’t make promises or official statements unless sanctioned by the people behind the business.
- Avoid racist remarks.
- Regularly change passwords and keep the information in a secure location. This is to avoid incidents of misuse and hacking.
- Immediately remove offending or erroneous posts.
Social media marketers and managers should also avoid doing the following:
- Automating responses. Nothing seems to annoy customers more.
- Logging into their personal social media accounts while working. There have been so many cases of accidental postings that resulted in huge backlash for the business they are representing.
- Being insensitive.
- Discussing politics or religion.
- Using a disaster or a newsworthy event that has caused hurt to so many people for advertising purposes.
- Using copyrighted images and neglecting to credit their creators/owners.
- Using copyrighted images in editing a promotional image.
- Ranting on social media.
All these no-no’s and rules will help marketers preserve the integrity, dignity and quality of the posts published on social media accounts.
Team leaders of marketers manning social media accounts also have to make sure that their employees are disciplined, ethical, and trustworthy. Log-in information and verification details should only be given to people whom they can trust to take care of the data.
Case to point: In 2013, British entertainment retailing company HTV suffered bad PR when its rogue employees used the company’s official Twitter account to rant about an ongoing mass layoff.
Go for Relevance and Goal-Oriented Posts
It is important to stay relevant to the brand you represent as much as possible. After all, it is the role of a marketer to promote a brand, a name. The environment of social media–the casual nature of users, direct and quick responses, frank and open comments, among others–is a tool that one can use to effectively promote a brand. Marketers can fully utilize its potential if they focus on posting brand-relevant messages and media content.
One also has to remember that people choose to follow a page on Facebook or Twitter because they want to receive updates about a specific topic. Followers of Ipanema, for example, follow the brand on social media because they want to be updated on new designs, releases and promos, not updates on the latest episode of Game of Thrones, or something completely irrelevant.
It is also important to consider the goals of the brand or business behind the social media accounts. What do they want to accomplish for this quarter? Higher product sales? Produce posts about the products they offer. Highlight the features that make them stand out. Show customers why they shouldn’t pass up the chance to buy them. Does the brand want higher traffic for the website? Post links to blog posts or internal pages of the website.
Having goals is always helpful because they give social media marketers direction when composing/creating social posts. Sometimes it backfires to always post buy links and nothing else.
Having goals can also help diversify the nature of social media posts and, more importantly, encourage marketers to keep a closer eye on the quality of each post.