Social media has proven to be a great way for companies to advertise and interact with their audiences. Those who have a strong strategy in place and a dedicated individual or team to oversee all social media and communications generally are more successful – but these days who knows what can go viral! To me it seems that most companies and those in the public eye have active social media accounts because they see the value in connecting with their audience through the various platforms. Those who I would suggest need to focus on this aspect are typically smaller, local companies who don’t yet see the need or benefit of social media.
Impressive social media strategies to me fall into 2 broad categories – those for entertainment purposes and those to inform or make you think.
The fun campaigns I have enjoyed over the years include those for the Deadpool movie franchise, for Wendy’s and Ellen. Through consistent, witty and engaging posts they are not only providing quick blasts of fun, but are also continuing to promote themselves by staying visible and appearing almost everywhere. I especially enjoy the strategies involving responses to other companies’ posts or mentions. Check out this article for samples.
Ellen of course fits into the latter category as well of those who ‘make their audience think’ like Dove and a personal favourite of mine, Gary Vaynerchuck.
Dove’s message of inclusion and representation of all races, ages and shapes is helping to change the industry and ensure body positivity & variety in representation becomes more common and accepted. They are also including people with various disabilities to ensure they are no longer overlooked or forgotten. Seeing everyone represented in the media and movies is becoming a hot topic, and I for one am all for it! An example I’ve written about in the past is their commercial with YouTuber Molly where she describes the feel of the soap and what’s important to her as a blind consumer.
Gary has become a social media mogul and is only getting better. His theory is to ‘Document, Don’t create‘, so he’s putting out regular content to promote things like work ethic, kindness, gratitude, patience and empathy. He’s changing the game by offering so value and content for free – never asking for anything. He built this brand & reputation so that when he does have something available to sell, it’s a commodity that he’s created that sells like hotcakes without a hard pitch – just letting people know its there.
Whose strategy needs help?
As I mentioned, most companies who I think need to implement a social media strategy tend to be the small, local businesses. While some are definitely all for the changes and taking advantage of new tools & techniques, others are hesitant and maybe don’t see the benefit of interacting with their audience online.
The truth is, we are always moving forward and social media isn’t going anywhere. More people and business are using these platforms everyday and with it’s low cost, ease of use and reach-ability, there’s no excuse to avoid it any longer!
To me, all businesses should have the following practices:
- Company website & logo with clear contact information, services; etc. as well as a section where you can post user reviews and maybe a blog relevant to the company to offer added value.
- Analysis of the competition should be done for any business but by also viewing their social media, website, etc. you can gain insight needed to build your competitive advantage.
- Creation of social media accounts based on the type of business and audience. For example, most businesses should have Facebook and LinkedIn to share content. Twitter is better for those with daily updates and of course platforms like Instagram are perfect for showcasing any visuals. Decide which platforms you want to use based on your preference, but also research what your target audiences uses.
- Find like-minded communities to join – social media, websites, chatroom, etc.
- SEO – implement those keywords! Use the same words for your website and social media accounts to ensure consistency and help your audience find you.
- Advertise using both social media and traditional media. Create a traditional media flyer (for example) and use it also for social media postings. Schedule regular postings and ensure follow-up to any comments by setting up alerts. Use the analytics tools to help create better content.
- Ask for feedback along the way and at various checkpoints to make sure content is relevant & working with your audience. Also ask for referrals from family, friends and clients and for them to share your posts and spread the word organically!
- Keep in touch with new updates, platforms and what your audience is doing. Consider YouTube and Twitch if you are also passionate about sharing even more content related to your business.
More and more we are also seeing a trend of organizations allowing employees to operate their own social media accounts under the corporate brand – almost as if it their own business. This has helped these individuals create their own professional image, connect with their audience on a more personal level and build ‘their’ business; which in turn helps the larger company grow and show faith in their employees.
To me, social media is the new normal for many things, so it’s best to informed of the new platforms and trends. Being involved along the way makes it easier to adapt to new tools, techniques and strategies as they appear – and potentially take over from the previous schemes almost overnight – so it’s good to be ready to embrace change! It’s the way many communities are developed and I think can even credited with how some of the positive movements are making waves and building momentum in today’s society!
Is your company using any of the above steps to create and manage their social media strategies?