Does Social Media Marketing Ever Sleep?
When it’s your job to be the brand ambassador or community manager for a company, is it ever OK to just tune out?
Last night, I had just started to drift off to Dreamland when I received a Facebook notification on my phone. Someone in the Bruce Clay, Inc. Facebook community asked a question.
Half asleep, I quickly tried to reason what my next move was – laying my head back on the pillow or waking up to answer the question.
Last night, the pillow won. But, not without some feelings of guilt.
When you’re in charge of a community – especially a worldwide community – social media never sleeps.
This idea made me ponder the boundaries and expectations that community managers should establish for themselves, and how to strike a balance that still shows you care.
Being a Responsive Community Manager vs. Being a Prompt Community Manager
Is being responsive just as effective as being prompt?
Being responsive, to me, means you always address the needs of your community. If someone has a question, concern or perhaps just stopped by to leave a message, you’re sure to never let any potential interaction slip through the cracks.
In this case, you might decide that it makes most sense for you to have some sort of 24-hour rule, where you commit to responding to a person within a reasonable amount of time so it’s still fresh in their minds.
Now, being prompt is different. Being prompt means you respond and you respond right away. This can be a very impactful gesture. It shows you value that person so much, that you want to get back to them in real-time, as if you’re having a conversation.
And isn’t that really what social media tries to accomplish – a conversation between a company and its audience?
Social Media Marketing Is Not About the Dollar
Are you yelling at the screen right now? I suspect some of the ideas I’m about to talk about are just the thing that Dan Zarrella has in mind when he talks about the unicorn and rainbow approach to social media.
Before anyone gets their panties in a bunch, let me say that I understand it would be silly of me to dismiss the fact that social media efforts should and will directly affect the bottom line. But you know what helps drive that? Human interaction.
Social media is not just a marketing tactic. It’s about real people and real relationships.
And if you’re extra lucky, you’ll see how that directly affects the metrics part, like conversions and the bottom line.
But the real bottom line is, when you’re in charge of a community, you have to be passionate about the people. You have to take the brand and make it human. You have to show you care.
I sort of adopted our Facebook community a few months back. Since then, I’ve really started to fall in love with it and the opportunity it offers in cultivating and strengthening relationships between a brand and its people.
Nothing makes me happier in my efforts than when a member of our community reaches out to thank us for something we did, gives us a nod for helping another person out, contributes to the conversation or just stops by to let us know they’re listening.
Make no mistake, this is ROI.
Which brings me back to my incident last night. By turning over and going back to sleep, I had to reconcile whether or not I was turning my back on a member of our community or if I was simply “off the clock.”
As a social media marketer or community manager, there’s a certain responsibility to be available to the people in your community – many of whom might just be starting their work day on the other side of the globe while you’re half asleep.
But, I suppose you have to set reasonable expectations as well to strike a balance.
I did respond to our friend on Facebook, but well after I had woken up and taken care of some other things on my list of to-dos.
Could I have done better? Yes. As community managers, we can always push ourselves to provide that special touch to our members – on and off the clock.
So, now I want to open up the floor to you social media marketers. Do you set boundaries or are you available 24/7? (Assuming you sleep for at least a couple hours a night.) And what’s better, responsiveness in general or being as prompt as humanely possible? Or do you think all this unicorn and rainbow stuff is just nonsense?
Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below. And while you’re at it, join us on Facebook!