SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Social Media — tracks feedback from leading marketers about social media practices and issues.
Last week’s poll question: How often do you respond to comments about your business on social media sites?
This week’s poll results are a good news/bad news scenario. First, the good: Almost half of SmartBrief on Social Media readers frequently respond to comments about their businesses on social media sites. Kudos to them. Setting up accounts on a few sites can be done in half a day, but maintaining that presence and responding to posts can be time-consuming. Thankfully, it can be rewarding too, and marketers that put in the effort have a chance to open fresh lines of communication with potential customers.
Now, the flip side: 21.08% of readers — the second largest group of respondents — never respond to comments. The key part of social media is the “social” aspect; without making the effort to actively engage current and potential customers, social media outreach is largely wasted. Worse, companies that have Facebook pages and Twitter accounts but don’t respond to customer posts risk being seen as exploiting the platforms for advertising rather than using them to build relationships with their clientele.
Inexperience could account for the reticence. About 12% of readers rated themselves as “struggling” when it comes to social media in a recent SmartBrief poll, and nearly a quarter considered themselves “students” who were “not field-tested.” There’s no doubt social media can be scary, and, when used carelessly, costly. But there’s no way to hone social media skills sitting on the sidelines.
If you respond to social media posts, what kinds of posts do you respond to most often? If you don’t, why not?