Social media can be your best friend or your worst enemy. When utilized properly, it can make your sales or donations soar. When used poorly, it can cause negative impacts on your brand. Have smooth sailing social accounts with these 5 do’s and don’ts of social media:
Don’t: Neglect your audience. Do: Treat everyone as your brand ambassador.
Shared content is the main form of brand promotion on social media and your brand ambassadors come at a low cost of free. Some of your best brand ambassadors may be those who never make headlines or have only a few followers. Brand advocacy on social media is a group effort propelled by the ideas of many.
How a brand responds to a potential customer can make all the difference. One tweet or response to a comment can turn someone into a lifetime fighter for or against your brand. With this in mind, realize you can’t control what people say. What you can control is your response to their statements.
Tip: Embrace and respect your audience. The person behind the profile picture is just as much of a human as you are. Treat them the same as you would online as you would in person.
Don’t: Give social to your sales team. Do: Promote people, not products.
When a brand is too salesy, the audience loses interest. People are looking for social media pages to have distinct personalities and are looking for products and services that cater to those qualities. For example, Red Bull promotes their wing-giving product, but their Twitter page isn’t full of the beverage. Instead, it focuses on the type of people and the culture that is most likely to use the product. Their spotlight is on their audience, not on what they are selling.
A successful brand in the B2B sector, General Electric, focuses on action and what can be accomplished with hard work. Their campaigns aim to reveal the results of using their products and how they impact the greater community. The company shines the spotlight on the external results instead of internal tools and processes.
“GE works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works.” – GE
Don’t: Be a fake, phony or lie. Do: Be authentic and transparent.
Stock photos on your social media? Please, no….
Sometimes less is more. Not every brand needs to be on every social media or posting 10 times a day. Maybe your baked goods store doesn’t need a LinkedIn or maybe your accounting firm doesn’t need a Pinterest. Even Apple has realized they don’t need to be on every platform available. Their Twitter presence currently includes their app store, a support account, their CEO and some other accounts focused on specific products. There is no active main Apple account.
One of the largest brands in the world doesn’t have a main account on one of the biggest social sites on the internet. Why? Because that’s not who they are, it doesn’t fit in their strategy. It would be less like Apple to decide to have a Twitter account and would result in forced feeling updates. This could very well be the same situation for your company. Social Media should reflect the organization at its roots.
Tip: Stay true to your brand and don’t force it. If it only makes sense for your brand to have an Instagram, then focus on that and let it shine. Going all in on one social media is better than being mediocre with all of them.
Don’t: Delete your account. Do: Deal with mistakes.
One of the worst and most embarrassing things to happen on social media is to misunderstand a trend. How a brand responds to their mistakes can make things better, or worse. In the case of DiGiorno’s unfortunate use of #WhyIStayed, all they could do was apologize for their mistake. Their original Tweet threatened their brand, but instead of pretending like nothing happened or shutting down their account, they took ownership of their mistake. They responded to those vocal of the emotional harm caused with personal and apologetic messages.
Once a message is sent on social media it can be seen by anyone with an internet connection, and even if deleted, is often photographed for prosperity (and proof). Be careful with what is posted and that the trend being attached is appropriate for the company’s brand. A message may not seem like it was negatively received if only one person responds but it may be better to respond immediately rather than wait for a community uprising.
“First of all, I know it’s all people like you. And that’s what’s so scary. Individually you don’t know what you’re doing collectively.” ― Dave Eggers, The Circle
Don’t: Overreact. Do: Think about what you’re posting.
Not every message on social media is nice. Most of it is actually kinda mean. Don’t be the reason someone, especially a potential customer, is let down. On the other hand, don’t let others get you down either! Kill any negativity with kindness every time and they’ll get bored of how respectful and positive you are. This is not what all brands practice. In August of 2015, Tinder decided to respond to a Vanity Fair article through their Twitter account. Their response included more than 30 tweets and was almost as long as the Vanity Fair article itself. Tinder’s response ended up bringing more attention to the article.
In some cases, such as misunderstandings, it’s best to send out apologies or corrections over social media. Other times, it can be best to be quiet and let the storm pass. This will have to be left up to your discretion, but a good practice is to respond after you cooled off or had the chance to really consider the situation. Never respond when you are still emotional.
Social media, when used properly, is a powerful marketing tool, but with great communication comes great responsibility. Use it wisely and you’ll have a wonderful and personal connection between your brand and audience. Need a little more help than some tips to get your social media campaigns producing their best? We have a fantastic team that’s always at the forefront of innovations in the social media space.