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