How important is it to be online the same time as your customers? Ie, businesses are traditionally 9-5, yet customers are online outside of work times. How important as part of a social media strategy is it to have your social media communications staff online and responding at all hours of the night/day/weekend etc rather than just being online during the traditional 9-5?
As a small to medium sized business you don’t need 24/7 coverage and you’re not expected to. Even if you did get a comment posted on your Facebook wall at 11pm at night, there won’t be many others up to see it before you get to it in the morning.
First rule of thumb:
If you post content you should be online at the same time to respond and engage.
I doubt many people would expect a business to respond to a Tweet or a Facebook post late at night. But if you are sharing content in that busy 6pm-10pm time you should (at least) have someone receiving notifications and able to respond and engage.
For those Twitter accounts that receive a lot of customer service questions it may pay to have your online times displayed in your bio or on your Twitter background. You might even tweet about the times you’re available from time to time.
If you have a contact centre I’d suggest setting up systems so Facebook notifications are seen by people who can make a judgement call on relative urgency or action required. They would need Admin access, especially if posts need to be deleted for any reason.
Weekends are important especially for brands running Facebook adverts, competitions or posting content. It pays to have someone responsible for checking in every now and then plus receiving notifications. The last thing you want is a customer question about that weekends sale or opening times or a complaint to go unanswered until Monday morning.
So make sure someone is receiving notifications of Facebook page activity, Twitter Direct Messages and LinkedIn Group posts. That’s a minimum. After that someone should be at least checking your pages once a day and able to respond to Tweets and Facebook posts during the day ie. 7am to 9pm.
I hope that helps give you some guidelines to start from. Please share your experience, insights or thoughts below and of course any further questions you would like answered and discussed.