How often have you struggled to show up on time for a meeting, only to be kept waiting as others stumbled in 5-10-15 minutes later? Or have you ever tuned in to your favorite TV show, only to find that it was “rescheduled” for some other time? Or travelled to a favourite restaurant, but finding it unexpectedly closed, couldn’t get in?
Research (Berry & Parasuraman) shows that by far, the two most important determinants of service quality are responsiveness and reliability. If you are not reliable nor responsive, your “brand” quickly reflects this. And you agitate those around you.
While most of us understand this implicitly in the real world, our behavior in the Social Media world is often completely different. Several ways to be more reliable and responsive when being “Social” online:
- Choose a consistent date and time to post your blog and status updates. If people come to expect a weekly post from you, skipping a week hurts your credibility. As does posting at a variable date and time. If they expect an update by 9am, then you need to deliver it at 9am, consistently. Don’t show up late.
- Set your topic focus. People will come to expect your posts… to be what you post. If you’re always posting on random topics, then those who are looking for your deep expertise (or unique perspective), will become disinterested and leave. If they expect certain content, then you need to deliver it, consistently. Your favorite TV show is your favorite because all of the characters are consistent from episode to episode.
- Set expectations for how often you respond. Do you respond or comment on all posts, some, or none? Whatever your frequency, you also need to deliver it consistently.
This week’s action plan: Your reputation is defined more by what you actually do – your behavior – than anything else. If you are using any Social tools (status updates on Facebook, tweets, Blog posts, etc), calendarize your interaction. Not only will you become more productive, but you’ll also directly affect your reputation.