How to Be Fully Present (Online)
If you’ve ever read about communication skills you have probably been exposed to the idea of being fully present. There are many reasons phrases like “living in the moment” or “actively listening” can seem a bit flaky but, have you ever asked a question only to receive a stock response that doesn’t actually answer what you asked? We shake our heads in frustration, “You’re not listening to me.” They heard what you said, but they didn’t take the time to understand you. Their mind was somewhere else so a preplanned response had to do. They weren’t fully present. This is a powerful concept in social media marketing.
Understand Being Fully Present
According to the CommuniCorp Group (which specializes in developing positive workplace mental health) “fully present means having your focus, your attention, your thoughts, and feelings all fixed on the task at hand. If you are speaking to somebody, then your attention and energy are focused on him or her and what he or she is saying.” Next time you are in a conversation, notice how difficult it is to not prepackage a response while the other person is still talking. Instead, try waiting at least 3 seconds after they are done before responding, this forces you to listen to what they say.
Be Fully Present On Social Media
How does being fully present relate to your business’ social media platforms? As a company, you need to be fully present on social media. Every company wants to increase “engagement”, but they seem to forget that engagement is a two-way street. The company has to put in the effort to pay attention, engage in conversation, and show they care if they want their customers to do the same. If they don’t take the time to reply to their customers’ questions, comments, and reviews, then why should customers even bother in the first place?
The Dangers of Not Being Fully Present
Stock replies are dangerous. Sure, if 20 people comment on your post picturing a yummy banana split, it’s going to be hard to come up with 20 original replies. Posting “Thank you” 20 times does nothing to promote engagement. People are pretty used to stock online answers by now. If a customer complains on yelp about the poor service they received, they will be expecting a stock answer. Why not surprise them with an answer you actually thought about and individualized.
Advantages of Being Fully Present Online
I can distinctly remember sitting at my desk and ordering a pizza for dinner using the online ordering app. Unfortunately, when I ordered, I forget to change the pickup time from ASAP to 6:00 or whatever time I would be leaving work. I sent a desperate plea via email to the customer service team. They instantly took care of my dilemma and corrected my order for me. I was so relieved I opened up twitter and tweeted to the app’s account their customer service rep had just saved my bacon (pun intended) and that he was wonderful. Several minutes later I noticed they had retweeted me and replied. It was fun to interact with the company because, in addition to great customer service, they noticed me. They interacted with me. They retweeted me. I left the situation with a truly positive outlook towards them. They get it.
How Can You Be Fully Present?
You might not have the resources to monitor your accounts 24/7. But you can at least do this:
- Check accounts at beginning and end of day
- Sent up notifications for certain types of interactions that you may want to deal with immediately
- Include at least one individualized aspect in each interaction.
- Before you hit “send” or “post” take a second to put yourself in the shoes of the customer. If you are the customer are you leaving this interaction with a good feeling?
If you follow these tips, you will be well on your way to being fully present online and having some truly meaningful conversations.
Handling your company’s social media can be overwhelming. It’s a fast-paced world which absolutely requires attention. The amount of your willingness to be fully present determines the usefulness of accounts. If you need help manning the fort, we at Vision Advertising would love to have that conversation with you, so go ahead and contact us for the best social media advice around.