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You have made excellent points in practical and effective social networking Mel. Here are some additional ones I have found useful:
CONTRIBUTE TO OTHERS
Blog, post and contribute to Q&A features on several sites:
1. It allows insight in solving the difficulties of others; always a satisfying achievement, dovetailing with professional endeavors and creating a positive image.
2. The manner in which a response is worded conveys values, expression, opinion, and insight to others who may wish to team, counter with a disagreement or pass on a reference to others; all healthy forms of communication.
3. Ratings features allow evaluation of responses by a large peer group.
4. With the growth of social networking international participation increasing dramatically, it provides insights into perspectives from other nations and cultures; a valuable input in the wired global economy these days.
5. The historical record of questions and answers, posting content and feedback is searched regularly by a large, world-wide community and draws others to profiles and web sites long after the initial dialogue has occurred.
MAKE PRUDENT JUDGEMENTS
Evaluate other net-workers for consistency. Value the participants who realize these are huge and open forums and who keep an open mind to input.
Do not value narrow minded use of these features for exclusively personal or business gain, control freak attitudes, and those who delete replies or answers because they disagree with the responses they are getting or are not getting what they perceive to be desirable results.
THE END PRODUCT:
A brand, an image and valued content, carefully cultivated, exchanged and viewed regularly with others and communicated for success.
In my experience, sometimes it's the customers/commenters themselves who bring their politics into the social media post even if the post isn't political at all. There are trolls out there deliberately provoking your audience and provoking you to post something bad. When they're obviously trolling, I block them outright. Engaging with them isn't worth my time.
Thank you both for your responses! I've seen many social media posts hijacked for various reasons. I agree, blocking those who stir up trouble is wise. ~Moderator Mel
Interacting with your customers via social media can put you into contact with people outside your target audience. It’s also true that reaching out to potential customers can be risky. Advertisements should be crafted carefully so that your company doesn’t create disengagement with your customer. Here are a few tips:
- Leave out the sarcasm and trash talking. Don’t use social media platforms to berate your competition. Create content that gets your audience interested in your company and makes them want to invest more of their attention and (hopefully) their money.
- Avoid politics. Especially in today’s political atmosphere. People today are put off by the negative and disingenuous political rhetoric.
- Take care when adding a humorous element, some customers might be offended by the punchline. Nine times out of ten, customers may laugh and still choose to patron another business.
- Interact socially with your customers. Reaching out to them when they have questions or even a simple thank you positions the reader into that VIP status.
- Having a live customer service channel that responds quickly and kindly makes customers feel confident when purchasing from your company.
Carefully crafted ads or responses can make or break the bond of social media. Care to share some of your experiences with social media engagements? ~Moderator Mel