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Retention and relationships with customers in social media

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Last week, #smmeasure Twitter chat community member @sabrina_scott suggested the topic of employees use of social media.   This week, another member helped bring a topic into discussion regarding retention and relationships with customers in social media.  Thanks to @IraKates for asking engaging questions to the community, making #smmeasure a top-trending topic in Canada!

#smmeasure chat #17 recapA key part of engaging in social media is building relationships.  With @IraKates leading the way and helping me create a topic of discussion, the #smmeasure community jumped right into the conversation.  If you have any topics you think would be great to add to our weekly discussions, tweet @marketwire.  Take a look at the full #smmeasure chat transcript.

Q1: In 3 steps, explain how to build relationships with customers in social media?

  • @JonClements:  “Find, listen, engage.”
  • @sabrina_scott:  “1. Engage + provide useful info. 2. Thank for mentions + RT’s. 3. Know when to take convo offline to provide more info if needed.”
  • @grmeyer:  “1. listen 2. be sincere 3. respond appropriately”
  • @mhandy1:  “Step 1: find Step 2: know who they are Step 3: add value”
  • @toddysm:  “I will add – be personal also; don’t sound like ‘the company’” 
  • @40deuce:  “1. Listen… a lot. 2. Have real conversations with real people. 3. Repeat steps 1 & 2 to infinity”
  • @liisamarjatta:  “Listen. Learn. Share. (repeat, would be a 4th step!)”
  • @casiestewart:  “the same way you do offline – be nice, be kind, share, be honest, be YOURSELF, make friends”
  • @JPedde:  “Step 1 Find, Step 2 Listen/Talk, Step 3 Bring online relationships offline if you can.”
  • @theelusivefish:  “step 1) answer ‘who are you?’ ‘what do you want?’ ‘why are you here?’” “step 2 … now that you know, talk to them. Address needs where you can. Help them help themselves where you can’t.” “step 3: not really a step but a part of it all – know what you want this relationship to be and then be consistent about it.”
  • @jgombita:  “if a company account, use social media to give a sense of the people working in the company and its place in community.”

Q2:  What guidelines do you have for unfollowing/unfriending someone? Via @IraKates.

  • @toddysm:  “Not getting useful information – lot of spam and promotional messages; irrelevant info too”
  • @TsarKasim: “If a user becomes consistently irrelevant to me (e.g. uninteresting tweets), I’ll likely unfollow them.”
  • @brightmatrix:  “Unfriending, etc. should always be considered carefully from professional side. What risk will result to your reputation?”
  • @SunnyinSyracuse:  “When they are a monologue, not a dialogue, lack any value or consistently are aggressive w/others…they get an unfollow.”
  • @Wedding_crasher:  “block for spam or bots, unfollow for abuse, unethical posts, and trouble makers”
  • @JonClements:  “Corporate account unfriending seems heavy handed unless verbal abuse involved.”
  • @jgombita:  “follow for content. But if I engage on several occasions & don’t get a follow-back, sometimes I unfollow”
  • @shankell:  “I don’t follow until a new follower engages.”

Q3:  Do you measure people who unfollow you? 3b. What tool do you use? Via @IraKates.

  • @WriterChanelle:  “There are some who just won’t follow back. They follow 120 of their 2000 followers. I put them on a list.”
  • @smitty1966:  “Following and unfollowing is like voting, highly democratic but there is no winner. Because number of followers is a weak measure”Note: Some of the tools mentioned for knowing who unfollowed inactive accounts:  Qwitter,,,

Q4:  Would you ever contact a user to figure out why they unfollowed/unfriended? Via @IraKates.

  • @Mitch_M:  “I don’t worry about how many people are following or unfollowing me; just have to be who I am”  “I believe if you watch unfollowers too much ull start losing the essence of who U are”
  • @RightToPlayIntl:  “Often the decision to unfollow is pretty personal – most want to avoid that confrontation.”
  • @JPedde: “Eh, I have no shame. I like feedback, will sometimes inquire if really like the person. It’s ultimately up 2 that person tho”
  • @WriterChanelle:  “I’d like to hear reasons, too, because I like feedback, but i don’t think people like to state why they unfollow”
  • @ken_rosen:  “if I clearly represent a corp brand, for sure. Chance to improve. If a personal brand, no”
  • @WesYee:  “I wouldn’t, but if contacted I’d explain why I UN’ed.”’
  • @djwald: “Would anyone email someone whos opted out of their email marketing? HA! NO!” “you probably want to know why they left… just like a customer leaving. It’s a retention problem that needs to be solved.” 

Q5:  What is an effective measure to use to identify if the problem is internal, in the marketplace or with the user? Via @IraKates.

  • @grmeyer:  “perception = 80% reality, so if your customers think you have a problem, you have one.”
  • @brightmatrix:  “I think the only measurement here is the no. of users with problems. Determining its source is a tactic, right?”
  • @karimacatherine:  “Dead-weight followers are probably not the greatest metrics. Important to put in context with specific objectives”

Words of wisdom courtesy of @toddysm: “About the listening part – there is a saying ‘people have two ears and one mouth – use proportionally’”

#smmeasure Twitter chat-inspired blog post (thanks!): @mhandy1 on the 3 stages of social media

Check back here every Friday for chat recaps and transcripts.  Join the Marketwire Facebook page to get #smmeasure weekly topics.  If you have any questions for the community, tweet @smmeasure or @marketwire or send me an email nshin[at]  Keep track of all the #smmeasure chat recaps.

Join the #smmeasure LinkedIn Group to connect with others interested in social media and measurement.  See you next week at 9:00 am PST, 11:00 am CST, 12:00 pm EST, 5:00 pm if you’re in London, and 3:00 am Friday if you’re in Melbourne.

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S., #smmeasure chat will be off next week.  See you Thursday, December 2!


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