Social Media is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It never closes, not even on holidays. It might even be more popular on holidays. This means brands have to be available. Social media postings and responses don’t fit only into the 9 to 5 workplace. For the sake of an employee’s sanity, I think the classic way is better. It’s hard to be constantly on and plugged into social media. People are lodging complaints at all hours of the day and they want responses.
For the customer’s sake, the social way is better. They have the ability to receive customer service the moment they need it, but not all brands have the ability to monitor conversations around the clock. I think customers need to understand that fact and put themselves in that same position. They need to think about how they would feel about answering feedback at midnight when they’ve already worked a full day’s work. Even though this article is more about personally disconnecting from Facebook, it is also hard to disconnect from your brand’s social media when on vacation. http://mashable.com/2013/07/28/social-media-vacation-2/
For most of my time at the LPGA, I’ve had the task of answering fan feedback that comes in via email from our website. I know first-hand how much feedback a company can get, most of it being negative. Even though most of the emails didn’t need immediate responses, I felt the need to respond as soon as I could so that I could wow our fans with my customer service. The response they gave back after being answered so quickly was always satisfying. I wanted to quickly turn their negative image and bad feedback into a positive with a quick response whether I could solve the problem or not. This attention and availability is taxing and at times I would question if it was worth it or not. I think it is much easier for large corporations to complete this type of availability when they have a group of staff in place to handle it.
When it comes to the language being used on social media, I’m all for the new social way of relaxed messaging. I feel like ever since I’ve been in the working world the language has been less formal, so I can’t truly speak about how copy and content was written previously. It seems like the old classic way would’ve been much harder. Someone could come up with great text but it didn’t fit with a company’s strict guidelines, then it wouldn’t be utilized. It’s sad to think of the great ideas that went to waste.
Today I feel like almost anything goes, except for profanity, when it comes to the style of language being used on social media. I’m all for this shift. Consumers don’t want to be spoken down to or read forced messaging. They are going to respond better when they can relate to what is being said. It also is better for brands when responses and personal messages don’t sound like they are coming from the brand. Messages need to be humanized. There were several points made in this article, 5 Common Brand Messaging Mistakes by Marketers, which speaks to this fact. It brings up not relying heavily on buzzwords as well as not messaging by committee.
I think all social media channels apply when it comes to my analysis of availability and language.