Why So Many Big Brands are Still Getting It Wrong!
Remember the early days of the web, when big companies seemed to be following some directive that told them they needed an online presence? Many of them appeared to get the message while missing what accompanied it — the fact that they needed the website to contain something interesting enough to make customers want to visit in the first place. Today, the same thing seems to be happening with social media. Big companies understand that they need accounts at places like Facebook and Twitter, but they don’t seem to know what to do with those accounts once they have them. They fail to engage their audiences and end up doing themselves more harm than good.
What are some of the mistakes that companies make on social media? Some of those mistakes are simple and straightforward. The content is uninteresting; they fail to update regularly; they do not respond to either negative or positive feedback from their customers.
However, these errors ultimately are symptoms of a larger problem. That larger problem is an overall lack of understanding of social media and its relationship with the company and its objectives. Social media should not exist independently of the company’s goals and plans for growth; instead, it should be embedded as part of those goals and plans. As part of this disconnect, companies often seem to forget that social media is not the end goal in and of itself. Increasing engagement and driving more customers to like and follow pages and visit the website should still all be in the service of increasing conversion and selling more goods and services.
Companies that want to use social media effectively must develop an overall strategy that social media is one part of. They also must hire the right people to manage social media. Too many companies default to either turning the duties over to their youngest employees with the assumption that they will market effectively due to having grown up with social media or to their top strategists who are inexperienced in social media. Companies need to identify people with relevant knowledge and experience to manage this part of the business.
It is also important for companies to remember that social media is a long game. Social media is not a channel for broadcasting but for building relationships that lead to sales later.
However, this does not mean that companies do not need stringent measurements for ROI. In fact, this is another important piece of the puzzle for effective social media. Good measurements for ROI allow companies to check on what is and is not working and adjust accordingly.
Social media is a tremendous opportunity for companies to build their customer base. By integrating the social media campaign into the overall company strategy, creating engaging content and measuring ROI, even big businesses can navigate social media effectively.
Originally published at www.austinlocalsearch.org on April 29, 2015.