A community manager spends a lot of time saying “thank you.” Talking to a customer about a support issue? We’re thanking them for their understanding while we resolve the problem. Someone tweeted a blog post? We’re thanking them for the share. Someone shouts from the rooftops how much they love our company? We’re handling that, too.
We need to make sure our community members know they’re valued. So yes, that means a lot of time expressing gratitude.
But how special do you feel when someone says the same thing to you that they said to hundreds of other people? It starts to feel less special, which is why no one cares about birthday wall posts on Facebook anymore.
And that’s the thing about a social community – we can all see what we’re saying to each other.
So when you’re spending your morning responding to tweets, it’s important to change things up a bit. First of all, it’ll mean more to your community that the messages they’re receiving are unique and genuine. But it can also save your sanity. Typing the same thing over and over gets boring.
1. Get Giffy
Yes, gifs. Run all you want, there’s nowhere to hide. They’re everywhere, you can’t avoid them. So you might as well embrace them – I sure do.
But they’re everywhere for a reason: they’re fun, and they entertain people.
That means they’re a great way to continue conversation. Send someone a gif, you’re pulling them in. They’ll be so tempted to one-up your reaction gif – better context, more hilarious context, from a better show, etc. – that who knows how long you two will go back and forth.
And while it may seem frivolous, it’s establishing a connection. Adding to a history between your company and its customer. Plus, you’d be surprised how much real conversation will end up happening between gifs. :)
[Tweet "Gifs create connections between company and customer. #smm"]
To add a gif to a tweet:
- Option 1: Find a gif you like on Giphy and copy/paste the link into your tweet. Their integration with Twitter means users can expand and animate the gif.
- Option 2: Save a gif to your computer or camera roll, then upload it to Twitter as your tweet’s image. It will automatically appear expanded, and users can click on it to animate it. (I think this is ideal, but time consuming and kind of annoying if you’re frequently finding and using new gifs.)
2. Show Your Face :)
Since I just used an emoticon, now seems like a good time to talk about smiley faces. Or rather, emoticons and emojis.
Using them has been proven to add a more humanness to online interactions by activating the same areas of the brain as seeing an actual person. Studies have also shown that they make others perceive you to be friendlier, and that they can help soften the blow of bad news. That can come in handy with a not-so-ideal customer service response.
I love the above example from Unbounce because the tweet (aside from the signature) is nothing but emojis, yet the message is completely clear. That says something about our culture. They’re ubiquitous enough that they can replace words. So it definitely doesn’t hurt to use them alongside each other.
Plus, since our brains process images more quickly than text, emojis can actually help with readability!
To add an emoticon to a tweet:
Just go ahead and type it in. :)
To add an emoji to a tweet:
- Head on over to GetEmoji.com
- Either search for an emoji or browse through the list.
- Copy and paste your emoji into a tweet.
3. Speak for Your Mascot
A mascot is a great way to personify your brand. But too many companies use their mascot only in their logo or on swag. For a mascot to truly represent a brand, it needs to represent it everywhere.
That includes on social media. Mascots are a great way to engage. Especially when they have a full personality, their own voice, and is treated like a true person on the other side of the keyboard.
One brand that does this great is Edgar:
They even use their Twitter handle as a way to introduce you to the product and mascot (they share a name but are very different - one is a software, one is an octopus). “Oh, hi Edgar. It’s nice to meet you, too!”
Speaking on behalf of your mascot, or even as them, will entertain your customers as they get to know the persona, and strengthen their brand connection with you.
Even if you don’t want to take things as far as using gifs and emojis on behalf of your business, have fun and don’t be afraid to be playful or funny. You don’t want your audience to feel like they’re tweeting with a corporate robot – no one wants to advocate for or connect with a nameless, faceless being.