In a social-first era, more and more brands are coming out of their shell and becoming a little more brazen in their activity. This brazen behavior often comes with snark and a sense of humor is often referred to as “savage”.

In this week’s #SproutChat, Sprout Social’s Social Media Manager, Darryl Villacorta, shared his thoughts on how brands should converse with their audience and where the future of social media engagement is headed.

Remain Professional & Genuine

Maintaining professionalism on social doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your brand voice. Being funny or entertaining  doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be mean. A good social marketer knows their audience and should be able to connect on social while being genuine.

Consider Your Audience

As n you’re crafting your brand voice, keep your audience front and center. Humor isn’t always universal but friendliness can go a long way. Before you launch into a snarky response, first think about who you’re talking to. Listen to how your audience perceives messages and understand why they’re interacting with your brand.

Always Remain Authentic

Brands that remain authentic and true to their audience are the brands that. Stand out by adding humor and wit without sounding condescending or mean. If your audience is coming to your brand looking for support or help stand out by giving outstanding customer service.

Don’t Feed the Trolls

It’s inevitable that your brand is going to experience a handful of trolls on social. Don’t get caught up in the heat of the moment. Take a step back and weigh the pros and cons of engaging with a troll before you respond.

Everyone in Your Community Is a Potential Customer

Think of any social response as a customer interaction. Publicly shaming your audience should be avoided.

The Future of Social Engagement is Evolving

Marketers know that their industry is always changing and social engagement no different. As our industry evolves, response times may be even faster with the efforts of bots and live-streaming. But one thing that won’t change? Brand consistency.

Join us next Wednesday, May 31 at 2pm CDT for #SproutChat to discuss geolocation on Facebook with Sprout All Star, Jeff Higgins. In the meantime, check out our Facebook community to connect with bright folks in the industry.