Dos and Don'ts of Social Media Engagement

By Lisa Durant
On Apr 24, 2014
Thursday, April 24, 2014

As social media use grows and expands beyond marketing to customer service, more companies are creating and adjusting their social media handling policies. I have run into a number of contact center and customer service professionals who are still trying to figure out just how to handle the complex social media world. Here are some top dos and don’ts for businesses planning to engage customers on social media.


1.     Create accounts with a definitive purpose and audience – Many companies have separate social accounts for specific campaigns or groups (e.g., one for customer service and one for marketing campaigns). Keep messaging for each account relevant to the appropriate audience.

2.     Extend company branding to social media – Make sure company logos, messaging, and company voice extend to the organization’s social media presence to facilitate identification.

3.     Monitor, analyze, and respond – Don’t just use social media outlets to spread information; use them to engage conversation. Also, use social media analytics applications to gain insight into social media metrics that are important to your company.

4.     Define rules and regulations for social media ­– Some large companies treat public social media outlets as customer communities and post community guidelines outlining policies for interaction between customers within these public outlets. Make this information visible to everyone who is interacting within the community.

5.     Think before posting – Making posts related to current events is a great way to stay relevant, but think carefully about content and public sensitivity surrounding certain situations before posting.



1.     Stalk customers – A well-known retailer once saw a comment that a friend of mine made about them on a public forum that was completely unrelated to their products. The retailer created an account on this forum and responded to try and resolve the issue. While this may seem like going above and beyond for customers, what it ended up doing was making everyone who saw the response very uncomfortable. Do interact with your customers; don’t stalk them to unrelated social outlets.

2.     Resolve all issues publicly – Not everything needs to or should be handled directly on a public Facebook page or Twitter feed. Leverage private messaging functions as appropriate. 

3.     Overuse automation – Automation is a wonderful tool, but social media is meant to be a platform for connection and engagement. Robotic social media handling – especially unmonitored – can lead to frustrated customers.

4.     Over post – Continually posting information on social media can cause customers to become annoyed and un-follow the company’s social media feed. Find a balance between original posts, re-sharing others’ posts, and responding to customer comments.

5.     Create it and forget it – Simply having social media pages isn’t going to help engage customers or spread brand awareness. Social media is useless unless social outlets are kept active and relevant.

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