The media has been awash with news this week of David Wills, who found himself trapped in a London Waterstones late at night after staff closed up shop while he was still weighing up his next literary purchase.
Initially calling authorities to alert them to his predicament, Wills had to wait an agonising two hours, after being told, “someone was on their way”, until he was rescued. Using social media throughout his ordeal, he took to Twitter to contact the literary giant – but to no avail. Media reports have suggested that the social media team had ‘clocked off’ after leaving the office at 5.30pm.
Now, with social media clients of our own, it’s common practice at JAM that we ‘second screen’ at home, both watching TV while monitoring social media and phone alerts for anything that might pop up, making the idea of ‘switching off’ a pretty alien concept to us.
Given that clients’ fans are, on average, most active during the evenings it’s safe to say that social media monitoring is simply not a nine to five job. In fact, even TV is now gearing towards this behaviour, with ITV marking a 225% rise in second screening among TV viewers – which has prompted the launch of their new interactive channel ITVbe.
The Chartered Institute of Marketing has produced an excellent guide of social media monitoring top tips, which we’ve added our experience to, ensuring that no ‘locked in’ tweeting customers will ever be ignored again!
Tip 1: Ignoring social media doesn’t make it go away
By its very name, social media is socially driven, which means you have to be active along with your fans at the time they choose. We always aim to respond to fans’ comments or tweets within at least two hours (unless we’re asleep, in which case it’s first thing in the morning), as you can never tell how quickly a fan message or complaint can travel through the ranks. Obviously we’re not suggesting you spend your nights glued to the laptop – there are a whole host of management apps for your smartphone that ensure social media monitoring is always at your fingertips!
Tip 2: Set up Google alerts
Nice, simple and a free method of ensuring you have an automated system helping you monitor 24/7 – just remember to check your emails!
Tip 3: Think reach, not volume
It’s not always about the number of people discussing your brand or indeed the amount of times. It’s important to think one step further, considering the potential reach of those that are discussing the brand and how far their communications can be heard across their personal networks.
Tip 4: Don’t fight fire with fire
If by chance, unkind things are mentioned about your brand, don’t rise to the occasion with a similar response, such as Hawke & Co – it can be just as damaging, and is a PR professional’s ultimate nightmare. Seek advice, it’s always better to try and communicate with disgruntled fans away from the glare of your other followers, and resolve the issue as quickly as possible. After all, the customer is always right!