The importance of social media is finally getting recognized by Conference Planners. Conference planners are starting to explore using Hashtags. If you’re not, start here! But what happens after you create an event hashtag? It’s a no-brainer that you should promote it and encourage your attendees to “join the conversation.” Sounds easy enough, right?
The problem isn’t picking an official hashtag and promoting it. The common mistake occurs when the conference organizers don’t participate in the conversation related to their official hashtag. There’s nothing worse for the attendee experience than participating in a conversation with themselves. Let’s not sugarcoat it. If you’re going to create an official hashtag for your event you need to be prepared to participate in the conversation. It’s heavily implied that you intend to! A conversation needs a moderator or leader. You have to be engaged and listening.
Attendees Want Responses and They Want Them Now
70% of customer service complaints made on Twitter are not responded to. Social Media is not just for sharing fun photos or a sound byte. Attendees are going to social media more than ever to voice their grievances. According to a study by Lithium Technologies, 70% of surveyed Twitter users expect a response from brands they reach out to on Twitter (I imagine this percentage might be higher when you invite your attendees to “join the conversation” with an official hashtag) and of those users, 53% want that response in under an hour. That response in under an hour expectancy percentage increases to a whopping 72% when they’re issuing a complaint.
Consequences of Lack of Response or Delayed Response Time
Well, so what if you don’t respond immediately. You have far more important things to do, like run your conference. Sure, there are absolutely more important things you could be doing, but don’t think that social media unresponsiveness doesn’t have lasting consequences. 60% of respondents cited negative consequences to the brand based on untimely or no response.
- 29% of respondents would tell their friends and family about the experience.
- 26% would escalate their concern through other sources of communication.
- 24% would consider buying less from that company in the future.
- 21% wouldn’t recommend the company’s products/services.
- 15% would complain about (or shame) the company/brand in social media.
38% of respondents hold a grudge, saying they feel more negativity toward the brand as a result.
The ROI of Devoting Resources to Twitter Customer Service
Sure, everybody complains. You can’t help them all right?
Well, what if you could? What are the positive results a brand sees when they devote specific resources to listen and respond to twitter complaints? The vast majority of this research clearly indicates that customer service on social media is critical for companies. And the reward is good!
- 47% of people recommend the brand in social media.
- 43% of people encourage friends and family to buy from that brand.
- 42% of people praise the company in social media.
- 38% of people are receptive to advertisements.
- 34% of people buy more of the company’s products.
You’ll find that a customer is almost 3 times as likely to interact with a brand on social media as a brand advocate, sharing positive interactions. The last thing you want to do is ruin all the positive engagement that will occur organically.
What steps can you take to improve your social media listening strategy?
- Define your objectives: Having an end goal will narrow down the tools you should use to listen to your audience.
- What is the intent of listening?
- What do you want to monitor?
- Who are you listening to?
- Where will you monitor your social media?: Do your research and find out where your attendees are “hanging out” on social media.
- Pick your battles. You can’t hang out everywhere, so you better know where to devote your resources.
- What channels are the best to listen to and engage? If you’re using an official hashtag, your answer is most likely on twitter and instagram.
- Decide what to monitor: Monitoring is keyword-based.
- Make sure you monitor your official conference hashtag and your official company accounts for mentions.
- In addition to the obvious, monitor names of key execs and stakeholders.
- Prioritize: Be strategic and filter out the noise.
- Use a tiered system to filter your social media mentions into categories: “respond immediately”, “respond eventually”, and “no response necessary”.
- Create a Plan: Have a plan in place for how you will respond to potential crises. Don’t be caught off guard.
- Create a script and communicate with each other to respond appropriately to negative interactions.
- Involve others in your company: Social media is not the job of the conference planner alone.
- Engage other departments to take shifts monitoring your social media during the conference. i.e. Customer Service, Marketing
- Reach out to partners and sponsors, as well as community influencers to disseminate important information.
If you start with these simple steps your listening strategy should improve. Be a part of the conversation. Social media is about relationships and community.