How to be successful in Social Media Marketing ?
Corporate social media channels have the potential to greatly extend brand reach and drive customer traffic to the website — and to create PR nightmares on a scale that was unimaginable even a decade ago.
Social is definitely a double-edged sword. On the one side, social channels are great for pushing content out to an opted-in audience; for promoting products and services; for sharing company milestones, news, and awards.
On the other side, social media hands a megaphone to disgruntled customers, activists, and Internet trolls — and you have no control over what they say about your brand and when.
It’s essential to manage both sides of the social media game, lest you become a cautionary tale (like the infamous “United Breaks Guitars” debacle, where poor customer service from United Airlines inspired a viral music video that has reached well over 16 million views).
As I’ve researched some of the most egregious social media fails from major brands over the last few years, I identified five common categories. Avoid these, and you’ll largely stay out of the path of the circling sharks.
Considering that you probably have loftier goals than simply staying out of trouble in the social media world, I’ve followed up the fails with five tips for improving your social-media marketing efforts and five tips for improving social-based customer support.
Five Tips for Better Social Marketing
1. Pay Attention to All Relevant Social Media Channels
If you’ve convinced yourself that Facebook and Twitter are the only channels you need to pay attention to, you could be missing out on great opportunities. Think LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest. Not every channel will be applicable to every industry, however, so don’t spread your team too thin trying to have a presence everywhere. Relevancy is key.
2. Measure the Right Social Media Metric
There’s really one metric that tops all others: referrals to the website. Having a lot of followers and fans means nothing — unless they are authentically interested in your products or services and likely to click through at some point. Gathering cheap, irrelevant likes through contests and other means won’t do anything meaningful for your brand.
3. Make Social Media Somebody’s Top Priority
If social media is nothing more than a side job for someone on your marketing team, you’re not going to get much value out of it. It takes dedicated effort over time to establish a strong presence, connect with relevant influencers, build a following, and learn what does and doesn’t work in your industry. That means putting social media at the top of somebody’s list.
4. Embrace the Unpredictability
Social media is unlike many other marketing efforts in that you don’t get to control it. Your social efforts will take on a life of their own, if you’re lucky. If you create something that goes viral, people are going to add to it and riff on it, and you just have to go with the flow. The goal is to create an environment where your customers can create messages about you, which means you don’t get to manage every aspect of the narrative.
5. Leverage the Rest of Your Employees
You have one person in charge of social media, and a couple of hundred other employees who could be contributing to the cause. If you really want to get a multiplier effect, make it easy for the rest of the company to be socially engaged and helping to promote your business. It never hurts to send out an email that contains links to your most recent online content, encouraging everyone to pick one or two items to share with their own social circles. Better yet, check out some of the social share apps like Smarp. Not everything will resonate with every employee, so the more options, the better.