COM0011 – Risk Assessment, Corporate Responsibility and Finding a Social Media Voice

By: Kamal Hylton

One of the major challenges in marketing for business is developing a voice for a brand. The ability to strike a delicate balance between corporate professionalism and authentic uniqueness can be difficult, but especially risky when factoring in the power of social media.

For a small startup looking to make its mark or a company that has developed a game changing product or service, all it takes is one perfectly timed post on the big social media platforms to propel said business to the next level. However there is a flip side to this coin, as it only takes one poor post to set off a domino effect that can lead to major financial losses, a spoiled reputation within the industry and potentially a business up in smoke. Assessing all of the risks and outcomes, the best course of action to avoid all of those potential pitfalls is to think before pushing send or as the old saying goes “measure twice, cut once”. This certainly isn’t new advice but it’s often taken for granted or ignored. One tip I use as a safeguard in my work as a social media marketing consultant is to write and go over my posts in a word processor before posting on social media. Although this is a little more time consuming, it’s a small price to pay considering the alternative.

This leads to the topic of customer interaction. Successful companies on social media use these platforms as a way to engage, ask/answer questions and listen to consecutive feedback that can be implemented to make themselves better. Simply put, nobody wants to be inundated with sales material and promos throughout their feeds or be made to feel like they’re interacting with a robot spitting out scripted responses from a playbook. To truly make an impact and grow a customer base organically it’s just not enough to respond in a timely manner, but there has to be a genuine back and forth that makes them feel valued and cared for. A good way to approach this is to take a few moments to come up with a well thought out and honest response before answering any questions or engaging with customers, as there are no prizes being given out for quickest answers nor are there bonuses being given out for meeting a quota.

The difficulties and pressures that marketing teams face is understandable when growing an online presence of a corporate brand, but that’s no excuse to putting emphasis and value behind things that don’t matter. For corporate social media to be successful it’s much simpler than we tend to make it:

  1. Properly assess all risks and outcomes before posting
  2. Take the time to think and be thoughtful with answers
  3. Ask the questions you actually need answers to
  4. Listen to constructive feedback and take emotions out of it
  5. Keep social media feeds as a genuine platforms/don’t use social media as just another sales tool

Let me know your thoughts. How important is a companies social media voice to you? What do you feel is the best way for companies to deal with customers on social media? Do you have any positive/negative experiences to share?

Reference Material:

Five Tips for Corporate Social Media Responsibility – http://bit.ly/1XtAyPj

How the voice of the People is Driving Corporate Social Responsibility – http://bit.ly/1TMniqY

3 thoughts on “COM0011 – Risk Assessment, Corporate Responsibility and Finding a Social Media Voice

  1. A company’s social media voice has become more and more important, and the ones who truly value social media are clear: instead of just trusting their name online to someone within the office and add on to their current responsibilities, they devote actual resources (money, people, etc.) to their presence online. It becomes pretty evident when you scroll through a handful of comment feeds which companies put effort into using social media and which ones don’t. The ones that don’t will have the stock answers, or the same response to every question or complaint. The others, while not engaging in a full-on conversation, will show some personality in the process and differentiate themselves from any potential bots or short cuts.

  2. “How important is a companies social media voice to you?”

    Any company that one follows loyally will expect that the way they conduct business and cater to them will be nothing but the best. That’s why it is so important for companies to address problems in the early stages so not to feel like they are ignoring people.

    “What do you feel is the best way for companies to deal with customers on social media?”

    As I referred to above, companies that deal with customers one one one or as a collective to address their concerns will only give the company a stronger presence online.

  3. Taking time to post/respond is great advice. Quick responses are often quick reactions that clearly show the author has not put the time into listening and thinking before responding. I also like the point about taking emotions out of the feedback to get to the root of it. I know myself, if I am clicking away on the keyboard all heated up about something, to take the time to review what I am writing (after emotions calm down) before sending. Great post!

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