What does it take for a business to succeed in the world of social media? Does an organization need to be well versed in all social media platforms? Understand the nuances and be digitally savvy? If you’re like me and just starting out, this might seem like a herculean task. Where should I start? What platform should I use? How often should I be posting? How do I know my creative assets and copy are just right? These are just some of the many questions that might arise. According to Gibbs (2022), a well laid out social media strategy should:
- Fit into the wider corporate strategy
- Work words a goal and has an objective
- Listens to various channels in order to examine the market, the competition and public’s opinions of the organizations brand/product
- Build brand awareness and maintain customer’s trust
If these criteria are met, then a corporation has succeeded in building a strong social media strategy.
An example of an organization that has successfully implemented a great social media strategy would be Wendy’s. Like most people, I love to scroll through social media aimlessly in an effort to find something entertaining and funny. Wendy’s Twitter account does that, and at the same time it invokes in me a desire to go out and buy their sandwiches. Wendy’s has done a great job in maintaining a Twitter handle that delivers great content, without even trying to seem like they’re advertising. They’re known to roast the quality of food their fellow competitor restaurant chains offer while praising their own. In this way, Wendy’s is using Twitter to build brand awareness, working towards their objective and listening to their competitions. GymShark is another example of a strong social media strategy. I didn’t know too much about this company to be honest, but all of a sudden they were all over Instagram. A major reason for their success is using fitness influencers and their following to get their message and products out to their customers. Here, we can see Gymshark demonstrating social media strategy by aligning their corporate strategy (their vision of their brand) with social media (choosing the right influencers to carry their brand forward).
Inversely, social media strategies can be weak. A case in point is the Dove Transformation ad. As a company, Dove has always stood behind “natural beauty.” They are known for their marketing campaigns that celebrate the natural women in whatever shape, form, or size through their Real Beauty campaigns. However, as analyzed by ImpactPlus, in their Dove Transformation on Facebook they went against their corporate strategy. This ad in particular caused a stir among their audiences because it showcased a black woman changing her top to reveal a white woman. Was it a truly innocent message? Was it more? One thing is for sure, Dove displayed a disconnect between their core values and what they stood for causing confusion, backlash and a moment in the troughs of their social media strategy.
In order to succeed in building a great social media strategy a corporation has to be mindful of its mission, values, goals, and objectives. They must listen to their audiences for feedback while keeping an eye on their competition. It seems like a lot of work, but with the right messaging and content on the right platform using the right tools, one can find success.
How do you connect social media strategy into the broader corporate strategy? Who would be the key players to make this into a seamless integration?
Can corporations truly recover from the troughs or failures of social media strategies from the past?
Gibbs, Sonia. (2022). Module 1:Reivew of Best Practices. BrightSpace. Retrieved From
Gilliland, Nikki. (June 25. 2020). 30 brands with excellent social media strategies.
Retrieved from https://econsultancy.com/30-brands-with-excellent-social-media-strategies/
Hamdi, Karisa. (May 29, 2018). 6 Social Media Marketing Failures & What You Can Learn
From Them. Retrieved from https://www.impactplus.com/blog/social-media-marketing-
Robertson, Suzanne. (July 27th, 2021). 15 Companies That Use Social Media Marketing
Effectively. Retrieved from https://resources.smartbizloans.com/blog/business-marketing/7-
An interesting blog post that provides a refresher as to what a strong social media campaign should consist of, especially for “newbies” putting their businesses out there for the first time.
Influencers seem to be the best way to push a business forward – the beauty industry used actresses in their marketing campaigns even well before the internet. And who doesn’t enjoy the car rental commercials featuring “David Putty” from Seinfeld? Who didn’t like seeing Matthew McConaughey and hearing his voice, telling us how much he likes driving a Lincoln?
With respect to Dove, it’s my personal opinion that the company wouldn’t have to try so hard to win customers if its products were more affordable.
Good job, Athillai.
Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. You’re absolutely correct, the beauty industry has set some standards when its come to marketing. For starters, like you mentioned, it was where we first saw influencer marketing when they industry used actresses. I also believe that industry inspired a lot of the marketing that goes on social media platforms. For example, beauty gurus were the first to rise the ranks of what we now term as influencers.
Great Blog post!
I have to agree Wendy’s has an amazing social media strategy. You see them on all social media platforms and some are quiet humorous.
It always makes me want to get in the car and grab a burger and a frosty lol.
Whoever is their marketing group is, is doing an amazing job.
Have a good weekend
Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!
I agree their marketing group is doing an amazing job. What’s more interesting and applaud worthy is the fact that the whole team seems to have the same and consistent brand voice.
Hope you have a great long weekend as well!