As with most things in life, social networks are constantly evolving. We often greet them with heated acquiescence and a bit of fear. Facebook’s latest updates regarding messaging via brand Pages and Live (the ability to interact with public figures in real time) leave a lot of room for discussion—in the best sense of the word. As the platform continues to open up its communications channels, many community managers are also wondering how to best leverage these new features to better engage with their audiences.
This week, we chatted about best practices for which type of message to keep public and which to move to private while exploring the future of real-time marketing. Below are three key takeaways from that #SproutChat discussion.
1. Moving to Private Can Provide More Direct Feedback
If a customer is complaining, it might make sense to move the conversation to a more private forum, which Facebook now enables brands to do. Of course, this is a general suggestion, not an all-encompassing rule. Remember to treat each inquiry individually. Quick and simple answers should be dealt with publicly, while longer, more complex explanations should be moved to a private message. Bottom line: Find the right outlet to keep your communications efforts direct and open—wherever the customer feels most comfortable.
A1: If the conversation is negative, it gets the negative content out of public view. #SproutChat
— Ashleigh Cue (@eucacue) August 12, 2015
A2: If the complaint can be adequately addressed in general and benefit other users, no need to take it offline. #sproutchat
— Alan Fleming (@alan_fleming) August 12, 2015
2. Livestreaming Video Breathes Life Into Your Community
With Periscope and Meerkat’s release, and now Facebook Live (currently only available to public figures), real-time marketing is picking up steam in a highly visual way. Consider the key aspects of your brand that would be best experienced live—and leverage those in a way that will help your organization stand out. Above all else, use these new features to build even deeper connections with your community, giving them a behind-the-scenes look at your organization.
A4. Real time marketing opens up lots of creative possibilities. #SproutChat
— Reva Minkoff (@revaminkoff) August 12, 2015
3. Without Personality, Real-Time Efforts Are Dead on Arrival
Put your best foot forward. Use vivacious team members to feature on live video. Of course, your content needs to be great too, but if it’s not merchandised in a way that keeps viewers tuned in, all your hard work will be in vain. That also means being aware of camera angles, lighting and sound. While it might not be major-network-news quality, a few basic principles will do wonders. A the same time, be sure to strike the right balance between a polished, well-branded effort and remaining natural and human.
A5: Live-streaming should feel exclusive and have engaging content that connects people to the brand! #SproutChat
— Crowd Thread (@CrowdThread) August 12, 2015
— Eric Brower (@Brower_Eric) August 12, 2015
What’s your policy for communicating with customers on Facebook? Is your brand considering livestreaming any upcoming events? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
Also, be sure to join us on Twitter for #SproutChat every Wednesday at 2 p.m. CST, and check out our Facebook community to connect with the bright folks in our community. Next week, we’ll discuss managing multiple marketing channels.
Sarah Nagel: Sarah Nagel is the Senior Manager, Brand Advocacy & Community at Sprout Social. She heads community building initiatives as well as Sprout’s advocacy program, Sprout All Stars. Sarah is a champion for empowering passionate and enthusiastic customers and believes in the huge impact an engaged community can have on an organization’s bottom line. Outside of work, she loves taking on home renovation projects, spending time with her husband and two rescue dogs and making the best guacamole you’ve ever had.