Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

Why fast communication often can beat slow communication [SOCIAL MEDIA]

I respond pretty quickly to all kinds of messages that are coming my way. That includes emails, direct messages on Twitter and those Facebook Messenger messages that come from this website.

As you may recall, a few days ago I added the Messenger widget to the site and now, after about 22 seconds, it pops up and allows people to directly message me with their questions. And, people do that. They ask me questions about Instagram, Facebook and other social media and storytelling tools. I’ve set up tools and monitoring  systems to respond as quickly as possible.

Also: It certainly helps that Facebook continues to tell me how fast my response time and response rate is. It’s a bit of a competition with myself, because once I get over 90% for my response rate, I get a public facing badge that lets everybody know I’m highly responsive.

How to get the very responsive  badge on Facebook ⬇️⬇️⬇️

Here’s how that looks when Facebook reminds me of that:

So I totally want to get that badge because one of my differentiators is that I respond quickly and I try to respond with substance.   So responding to 90% of my messages within 15 minutes seems like an accomplishable goal, despite me not having reached it yet.

So how do you actually earn the badge on Facebook? Basically here are the rules:

Respond to 90% of your messages within 15 minutes.

So as long as you do that you get it. But there are some tricks – for lack of a better term – that you can use to help yourself set yourself up for success.

Here’s what Facebook has to say about the rules in general:

So what that means is that when you are set to active you have to respond within 15 minutes nine out of 10 times to get the badge.

But you can also set yourself to inactive and messages that come in during the inactive time period don’t count against your response rate.

Overall, responding quickly has done me well. Sometimes I misunderstand a message or respond in a way that people misunderstood or something like that. But responding quickly actually helps me close deals, build relationships and define another differentiator of my services in the way I interact with customers.

A lot of businesses and people don’t respond very quickly and that’s OK. It’s their choice. My choice is to be customer-centric and respond as quickly as possible and as relevantly as possible.

And people even expect responses quickly. I know it’s not always realistic for me to respond the second I get a message.

With the global audience and global community messages now come in at all hours of the day and night. I do have to sleep after all. And some days I am-as my Twitter account says-available 24/7.

And of course social media users expect prompt responses from other people and brands. So how can you as a person or a brand respond quickly?

Like many things, it depends on a number of items:

  1. Do you actually want to respond quickly and be customer-centric?
  2. What’s the workflow? Who handles the responses?
  3. Are the people who are responding actually empowered to give valuable answers and take valuable actions? That’s valuable to the customer. Copying and pasting templated PR responses is not usually responding in a meaningful way.

So let’s assume that you decided that you want to.  The next step is the workflow. 

People message all the time. Especially when you encourage them to. I encourage people to message me:

  • On this website
  • On Twitter
  • On Facebook
  • On other social media channels
  • When I’m giving a presentation
  • They can even text me from Instagram
  • Etc.

The opportunities for people to send me a message, ask me a question or ask if they can hire me for an event or training are endless. That’s great but it also can create a monitoring issue. With all these channels and all with their own inboxes missing a note is extremely easy.

Especially for  brands and  the larger the brand gets the more messages there will be. And with that the more work it is to monitor and respond. But even for smaller businesses who do content marketing and digital marketing well monitoring and responding to all the inbound messages can still be a lot of work. But remember the whole point of inbound marketing is to get inbound leads. Getting relevant messages from potential clients is the first step in that endeavor.

Since I added the Facebook Messenger to my website just a couple days ago I had over 10 live chats with people who had questions and inquiries about digital marketing. And that was just in a few days. And in addition to the regular Twitter messages, emails and other messages and comments to respond to.

But I figured out the workflow and how to maximize the different technological tools. Give that it’s just me of course that’s a little bit easier. But I still have to figure out what tools allow me to monitor without actually having to sit in front of a computer the second a message comes in.

For once, the correct apps and the iPhone is really all I need. And then of course a plan on how I’ll respond and what  advice is given away for free and what advise needs to be paid for.

People comment all the time how quick and relevant responses are.

Für example,  I still send an automatic Twitter direct message when people follow me and many  do reply. I always try to make a point to reply to those that reply to my auto message. Many of them appreciate it.

Responding fast really does a couple things:

  • It allows me to check the response off my list of things to do.
  • It actually encourages engagement with the person I’m responding to, because I just responded to them. Responding quickly enables us to potentially have a conversation.

Every once in a while responding fast ends up being the wrong choice. I might misread what people said or meant or I may have fired off a response too quickly.

While I likely didn’t mean it negatively  sometimes those responses can be read negatively. Because quick communication over text-based communication is live  we are missing some of the verbal and tonal cues. 

But overall the positives of responding quickly and promptly and honestly outweigh the negatives. At least for me.

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Christoph blogs on The Authentic Storytelling Project and is a globally recognized content marketing expert. The IMA named him Internet Marketer of the Year in 2015. He works with healthcare organizations and other brands around the globe.

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