Two-way communication: what is it and how to achieve it with customers on social networks?

Two-way communication: what is it and how to achieve it with customers on social networks?

In traditional marketing, the meaning of communication is usually very clear: the brand sends the messages and the public listens to them (or if they are not interested, they ignore them). But, with the digital part of marketing, all this has turned upside down.

Thanks to this, consumers are no longer passive recipients, but can interact with brands “from you to you”. It is the era of two-way communication , so let’s see what it consists of and how you can apply it to your social networks.

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What is two-way communication?

Two-way communication is one in which the receiver and the sender of the message exchange roles continuously. In the marketing environment, this means that the brand delivers a message, the consumer responds to it, the brand reacts to the consumer’s response, and so on.

In traditional marketing, communication used to be unidirectional: the brand is the issuer and the consumers are the receivers. Take, for example, an ad published in a magazine: the reader has no opportunity to respond directly.

On the other hand, in social networks , the same brand can achieve a two-way communication informing about that product with a publication on their social networks and asking followers to give their opinions about it.

one-way communication is not without advantages, since it is a much simpler process. It can be suitable for specific moments in which we work for objectives and we have short delivery times.

But nowadays, it is not conceivable that a brand is not in contact with its customers and listens to their needs, so it is essential to incorporate two-way communication into marketing plans.

Advantages (and disadvantages) of two-way communication

Advantages of two-way communication

  • Two-way communication encourages greater trust and transparency . Social networks have put brands within the reach of consumers, so they expect to be able to interact with them. A company that refuses to dialogue with its consumers generates distrust, because it may seem that it has something to hide.

  • Two-way communication humanizes brands . Conversations on social networks tend to have a more relaxed and relaxed tone than mere corporate communication. By conversing with customers, brands show the people behind them. And in the end, all this positively influences brand perception and purchasing decisions.

  • Two-way communication helps us to know better to consumers . We can ask questions of people interested in our brand and get their answers, so we have it very easy to obtain valuable information. Thus, we can know the opinions, complaints and suggestions of users and apply all this data to improve our products and our customer service.

  • Two-way communication makes consumers feel more valued. Traditional advertising and information saturation can lead to people feeling like numbers on a business account. If it makes an effort to get closer, know its opinion and make changes based on it, users will feel important and therefore trust the brand more.

  • Two-way communication allows you to join the conversation and make the brand relevant for today, incorporating your point of view on current issues.
  • Two-way communication gives rise to a direct relationship between the company and the client , without intermediaries such as the mass media. This allows generating a climate of mutual trust and knowledge that ends up being translated into sales.

  • Two-way communication allows detect and prevent reputational crises . In the end, half of two-way communication is listening. And by listening to customers, we can quickly detect potential dissatisfactions and resolve them before the problem escalates.

  • Two-way communication improves results . By having continuous feedback from customers, the brand can adapt its strategies to provide them with the maximum possible value and consequently its results can only improve.

Disadvantages of two-way communication

Undoubtedly, two-way communication is an asset that plays in our favor, but that does not mean that it has no drawbacks. Before implementing your two-way communication strategy, I recommend that you take these aspects into account:

  • Two-way communication requires be available and willing to attend the conversation . In some cases, users expect brands to respond to them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If that is not your case, you need to make your availability very clear.

  • Two-way communication implies a commitment to the audience . We have to be willing to provide answers that are consistent, transparent and in line with our corporate values.

  • Two-way communication carries with it the risk of attracting comments negative . If we expose ourselves to the audience, we do it for the good and for the bad. It is even possible that an inadequate response could generate a reputation crisis.

In conclusion, before launching ourselves to interact on social networks, we have to thoroughly work out a strategy of communication aligned with our objectives and covering different contingencies, for example, how to react to criticism or complaints.

How to generate two-way communication on social networks?

social networks are the ideal channel for two-way communication , since they are made to encourage conversations. Therefore, the first step to generate this type of communication is to strategically decide which networks we are going to be in.

A company page on LinkedIn is not the same as an account on Twitter; Each network has a different audience profile and communication tone. Therefore, we will have to study where our buyer persona is and what tone and communication strategy are most appropriate.

Once you have opened your company profiles on social networks, sign up these recommendations to generate interaction:

  • Humanize your presence on the web. A corporate logo and publications that look like press releases are not the best way to establish two-way communication. Therefore, try to speak in the first person, put a face to the people behind your account and adopt a tone that is close.

  • Welcome your new followers. This is a very simple practice, but it can help start a relationship on the right foot and show that your brand is there from the start. If the number of new followers is very high, it can help us with an automated greeting, but the ideal is to personalize the interaction as much as possible.

  • Talk about current affairs. Commenting on current affairs and viral news is a favorite of social media users, so why not join the conversation? Of course, always try to relate your comments to your brand and not force your participation too much, or it will be very unnatural.

  • Use humor. To talk with users on social networks, it is important to “take off your tie” and use a tone consistent with the channel we are using, always taking into account the personality of our brand. Humor is one of the most effective resources to generate virality in the networks (viraljacking), so dare to use it!

  • Ask questions . Imagine you meet a person at a party who only talks about himself and doesn’t ask anything about you. You’d run away, right? Well, exactly the same thing happens in social networks. If you want to start conversations with your followers and find out more about them, ask them questions!

  • Take surveys. Surveys are a somewhat more organized way of gathering information about your followers’ preferences. Most social networks include native survey capabilities, so users can give you feedback with just one click. Additionally, surveys allow you to easily process your followers’ opinion data and use it to make decisions.

  • Respond to your followers.

  • Measure the results. In marketing digital, no action is complete without evaluating the results. Use social media analytics to see which posts have generated the most engagement and positive reactions, and try to see what the patterns are. Thus, you will be able to refine your two-way communication to be more and more in contact with consumers.

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