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Are you failing at social media?

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The experts told you to start marketing through social media, and you did. But are you effectively using it to empower your brand? Ask yourself these questions:

•  Do I have a strategy in place? You shouldn’t be going at it willy nilly. You must have a schedule, a plan and a reason for sharing every piece of content. Don’t just post anything to keep up the frequency. Make sure every post aligns with your core message.

•  Who is the face of your organization? Social media offers a great format for communicating with customers, gaining their feedback and resolving their complaints.

However, you must monitor and analyze what people are saying about your brand. More important, you need someone available to quickly and professionally respond to both positive and negative feedback. If you ignore comments or fail to follow up on inquiries, you could hurt your brand.

•  Are you handling criticism appropriately? People can become downright mean with their online comments. When you are attacked or heckled, how do you react? Deleting comments or responding with sarcasm and rudeness will almost always backfire. Angry customers can go on the warpath and blast your apathy to the world.

However, if you respond with empathy and a focus on resolving issues, you can salvage relationships with disgruntled customers, while making a positive impression on other people who are reading the comments online.

— Adapted from “5 Tips to Ensure Social Media is Working as an Extension of Your Brand,” David Miller, eContent Magazine,

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