You might want to track mentions to see if your presence is growing and if the right things are being noticed. Track:
- Where did it appear & who said it?
- What was said? Categorize the nature of the mention and keep a clip file.
- Who responded and how fast? Keep the response in a clip file, too.
The last item is the most important. Respond with thanks to positive mentions and if you find a negative mention, seek to resolve it. Don’t be overly concerned about the occasional problem aired online. It’s actually pretty easy to look good, even in a complaint situation.
Handle it exactly as you should handle a face-to-face complaint: 1) “I’m sorry about your experience,” 2) “I’m going to make it right,” and 3) you take it offline: “Let’s talk by [phone or email].” When others see this reply trail they see that you’re reasonable, own mistakes, and resolve them. To normal people, it’s not whether you make a mistake, it’s how you handle it that matters. Studies show that customer loyalty is stronger after mistakes are resolved well than when no mistake occurred; credibility can be gained through fallibility.
Leveraging social media just for learning is a great goal. But reading and reposting is passive as far as marketing’s concerned; don’t expect new business to result. Simply setting up Twitter or LinkedIn accounts won’t suddenly (or ever) drive up your revenues.
To get started finding great content, follow other CPAs and industry thought leaders on Twitter. For a head start, my CPA-related twitter lists will direct you to many:
IT’S ABOUT CONVERSATION
Social-media tools are simply communication channels, they’re never strategies in and of themselves. Tools like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and blogs are for conversations within specific marketing strategies. The word “conversation” is key.
Social-media channels aren’t appropriate for the one-way broadcasting typical of corporate marketing. It’s okay to occasionally mention what you’re doing or have been recognized for, but no more than once in, say, ten interactions, just like you would converse at a ball game or dinner with your client or prospect. As long as you treat your digital conversations the way you treat personal conversations, you’ll be golden.