4 Personalities You'll Find in Your Social Media Community

By Amy Kattan Working at a social media marketing agency means communicating with a wide variety of different personalities: coworkers, clients, partners, and most importantly, the different communities we manage. Within just a few moments, we go from talking to people who praise us, to people who want to bite our heads off, to people who are unbelievably confused. How can we possibly keep up with all of these personalities? Inspired by these past blog posts, we’re going to take a look at the kinds of people within our social media communities and how we can ensure that we are building and maintaining relationships of value.

The Teacher’s Pet: This person LOVES your brand. He’s tried all of your products and is constantly recommending them to his friends. He tags your Twitter handle in a tweet each time he uses your product and frequently writes on your brand’s Facebook page just to say “hi” or tell you how you have brightened his day.

The approach: Unrequited love is so not cool. Clearly, this person thinks your  brand is incredible, but don’t expect that to last forever. People want to be appreciated, so show him how much you care! Answer him by name, thank him for his support, ask him questions, and encourage him to share his experiences. Now not only does he love your product, but he loves YOU. Then in 3 months when your company comes out with a new product that receives some bad press, he will not only forgive you, but he may even defend you. Friends need to stick up for one another!

The Hot-Head: This guy comments on the Teacher’s Pet’s posts, calls him crazy, and then lists the reasons why he HATES your brand. He thinks your customer service sucks and your product is expensive. The worst part: he’s not afraid to tell anyone and everyone.

The approach: Stay calm. Despite your rave reviews and wild popularity, you’re bound to come across a few haters. Tell him you’re sorry to hear about his experience and ask how you can help. If it’s an issue with a product or service, connect him directly to a customer service representative or someone  who can help solve the problem. Show that you’re listening, care about what he has to say, and taking his feedback into consideration. Who knows, maybe he’ll be impressed by the speedy response and personal attention. If not, at least some of your other fans will recognize and appreciate the effort and you’ll still come off looking like a winner!

The Debbie Downer: This person is not really sure what to make of your brand. She’s probably been fooled before. Maybe she spent $30 on shampoo that made her hair fall out. Maybe she was told she would get her order in 2-3 business days when it actually arrived 3 weeks later in six pieces. Regardless of her situation, she wants to find a solution to her problem and find a product or service that works, but she’s a bit skeptical.

The approach: Tell her you understand where she is coming from and do not pressure her to take action. When people are looking for recommendations, they almost always go to their friends or other people to whom they can relate. Encourage her to ask her friends or other members of the online community. If possible, send her a link to a list of reviews. Try connecting her to a representative at your company and begin building that one-on-one relationship. In this case, a little surprise and delight could also go a long way. Connect with her privately and tell her you’ll send her a product to try, free of charge with no pressure to purchase.

Curious George: George has a LOT of questions. He wants to know your brand’s history, who works there, where you’re located, what services you offer, how your products work, what you can do for him, and the list goes on. He won't stop until he has answers.

The approach: The solution is simple: give some answers! You’re not a robot, so a simple “thanks for being a fan” won’t suffice. Provide George with as much information as possible. Make sure your responses are personal and provide value. If this means connecting him to a customer service representative, so be it! If it means providing him with a website where he can find more information, great! If he asks something you don’t know the answer to, a simple “I’m not sure, but I’ll look into this and get back to you as soon as I can” should work, assuming you don’t forget to follow up when you find the answer.

What personalities have you encountered within your social media communities? How do you respond to these personalities?