SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Social Media — tracks feedback from leading marketers about social media practices and issues.

Last week’s poll question: How often do you respond to comments about your business on social media sites?
Frequently: 49.51%
Never: 21.08%
Rarely: 15.20%
Sometimes: 14.22%

 

This week’s poll results are a good news/bad news scenario. First, the good: Almost half of SmartBrief on Social Media readers frequently respond to comments about their businesses on social media sites. Kudos to them. Setting up accounts on a few sites can be done in half a day, but maintaining that presence and responding to posts can be time-consuming. Thankfully, it can be rewarding too, and marketers that put in the effort have a chance to open fresh lines of communication with potential customers.

Now, the flip side: 21.08% of readers — the second largest group of respondents — never respond to comments. The key part of social media is the “social” aspect; without making the effort to actively engage current and potential customers, social media outreach is largely wasted. Worse, companies that have Facebook pages and Twitter accounts but don’t respond to customer posts risk being seen as exploiting the platforms for advertising rather than using them to build relationships with their clientele.

Inexperience could account for the reticence. About 12% of readers rated themselves as “struggling” when it comes to social media in a recent SmartBrief poll, and nearly a quarter considered themselves “students” who were “not field-tested.” There’s no doubt social media can be scary, and, when used carelessly, costly. But there’s no way to hone social media skills sitting on the sidelines.

If you respond to social media posts, what kinds of posts do you respond to most often? If you don’t, why not?

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3 Responses to “Are you responding to posts on social media sites?”

  1. I was just debating this last night. Our conclusion is that the real opportunity regarding social media, especially Twitter, is not to pontificate on what you know or what you can link to but to engage others in a conversation. The conversation strategies vary from platform to platform.

  2. Speaking strictly on Facebook and why you should respond to posts…

    Large businesses with brand recognition have the luxury of receiving comments on their page just by the sheer magnitude of numbers of fans they have– even if they aren't doing anything to engage their clients. For smaller businesses, fan posts without trying are rare simply because of the lower number of fans. They don't have the luxury of sitting by and doing nothing because their numbers don't allow it. When you do nothing, your page looks barren.

    I'd be interested to see if their was a correlation of how large the business was to how they responded to this poll. There are plenty of large businesses that do an awesome job on engaging with their customers so I'm not arguing that the larger you are, the less you do. Just pointing out it's much easier to be large and not engage with your fans because you will still inevitably have some action on your page. Not the case with many small businesses.

    Beyond the argument of social media being social so interactions are key (which I totally agree with), another reason people should be responding is it raises your Facebook EdgeRank with that particular person which means your post will show up more in their news feed. Isn't that the whole reason you're on Facebook– to get your message seen by your clients?

    Wrote up an article on EdgeRank that will give some hard facts for any doubters that you should be responding! http://goo.gl/5cRfi
    My recent post Facebook EdgeRank: The Key to Getting Your Posts Seen

  3. Brennan says:

    Social integration in to you marketing network is critical for consumer awareness The more interaction the better.