Using social media is an important part of any PR or marketing campaign; it not only gets the brand’s name out there by highlighting happenings relevant to the company, it also gets people involved with the business by opening up topics for outside discussion. Adversely, there is an ugly side to social sharing, and if you aren’t careful, it’s easy to lose followers.
The first and biggest mistake companies can make is oversaturating their timelines. While it IS all about getting the word out and making sure people are in-the-know about what your brand is up to, that shouldn’t translate to doing that every five minutes on all of your social pages. People get annoyed with oversaturation, (AKA your brand starts to look like a Stage 5 Clinger, and no one likes that) which is the quickest ticket for followers to un-follow or hide your content from their feeds…potentially making them miss company news that actually counts.
Something that holds hands with the Over-Poster is the Lengthy Poster. An important tip to run your social page successfully is to always go by the “less is more” rule. Less will forever and always, be more. Two paragraph blasts generally aren’t necessary as most people log on to their social media as they commute throughout the day or take breaks at the office, so they probably won’t take the time to read up. HINT: There is a reason people read social media instead of novels throughout the day. Always be concise in your writing and get to the point.
Another key tool to apply to social media is to genuinely care about your followers and what they have to say. Nothing is worse than a brand that ignores the people who have helped it become successful. Reach out to as many people as you can, especiallyif you have a big following. Don’t have the time? Hiring an in-house social media manager or a PR firm to entirely take over your social media game may be the answer. Most PR firms offer a la carte services to provide social media oversight or even offer social media crash courses to teach your employees the ins and outs of social media so your company can handle internally and have all-hands on deck.
A fantastic example of a brand that utilizes Twitter like-a-boss is Chipotle. Although Chipotle is a multi-million dollar brand, if you check out their Twitter page, they are constantly engaging directly with their followers. Companies that are involved in the Twittersphere stay front-of-mind to followers and increase customer loyalty with new age customer service that offers corporate-approved responses in real time. Even when @ChipotleTweets has an occasional lack-of-guacamole emergency, their social team is on top of it, writing back and making sure they can do everything in their power to help.
Not Staying Current
Social media plays such a huge part in our society nowadays. People automatically take to it when they are upset with a particular service or when they receive extraordinary service. It’s the brand’s job to not only notice, but to reach out. If there is a problem, protocol should be to figure out the best result to fix it and REACH OUT. If someone is praising your company, genuinely appreciate what they have to say and REACH OUT. And by all means, use it or lose it! Nothing quite commits social media suicide than when a potential customer looks up a company account that hasn’t been active in months—“Did they just get lazy?” “Does anyone even care about this brand anymore since they aren’t current?” “Are they even open anymore?”, etc. are all thoughts that can cross the minds of look-before-they-buy(ers).
So what did we learn today, class? Don’t lose followers. Don’t “firehose the feed” by oversaturating your followers (2-3 posts a week tops), but do make the time to engage directly whether a problem or a praise, and stay active! Happy Social Media’ing!