Social media use continues to trend up, with active users nearing 700 million on Facebook, exceeding 300 million on Google+, and hitting 200 million on Twitter at the start of 2013. With these adoption figures, social media marketing is at an all-time high – and so are company expectations. With the transparency social engenders, social media marketers need to be doing certain things, and avoiding others.
Dos. Social media marketers need to:
- Engage often with prospects, customers and industry thought leaders. Share, RT and comment on their content to let them know you are interested.
- Monitor competitors’ @handles and #tags to see what type of content they are sharing and who is following them, as well as what others are saying in reference to them.
- Be prepared and have processes in place for escalation. Social media is used today for lead gen, customer service, awareness and discovery. Make sure you have the answers in place to reply back in a timely manner or that a workflow is in place to escalate specific issues/comments that are directed at your brand.
Don’ts. Social media marketers need to not:
- Just push out content and forget about it. Thank those that share your content and/or reply to inquiries within four hours or less.
- Issue posts during national tragedies. Hit the pause button on scheduled posts during a national emergency. Send only your condolences or similar offerings.
- Go overboard with self-promoting. There is only so much you can share about your company’s positive attributes before you turn people off. You need to have a varying mix of content that is shared across social channels, making sure to incorporate RTs from thought leaders and industry-related news peppered into the posting schedule.
Some companies just get social media:
@Oreo and @Tide do a good job of interjecting their brands into highly relevant topics using multimedia via social. They share graphical representations of their products, showcasing their brands in a fun, lighthearted manner that elicits response/engagement from their online communities. When humor site The Onion parodied Tide’s social accomplishments by joking about a non-existent video, Tide responded lightning-fast by actually creating the video.
Dunkin Donuts and Southwest show their support by giving a reason to insert themselves into social responsibility conversations/topics:
@DunkinDonuts – During the Boston bombing they kept their stores open to serve free coffee and food to the citizens of Boston and promoted offer via social.
@SouthwestAir- They had no flight-change fees for people trying to get back to Boston and shared this across their social channels.
Social media is still a relatively new medium that you and I alike are getting accustomed to for business marketing purposes. Who would have imagined what an integral role social would play in our personal and professional lives? Ways of communicating, sharing ideas and engaging via social is still a work in progress as the social landscape is continuously evolving.
As social marketers, we are always looking to see how other practitioners are leveraging social media to drive business forward. Join me, @PR_Maven and thought leader @DrNatalie, on Tues, June 25th at 6:00pm PT for the #MktgActionChat where we will discuss in greater detail the social do’s and don’ts. Add the event to your calendar: www.act-on.com/mktgactionchat.
If you have any social marketing dos or don’ts to share, we’d love to hear them. Leave a comment below….