Commitment to Social Media

00717_00794

Getting involved in corporate social media can be a daunting prospect, particularly if it is something you have had little experience with. You are aware that it has proven to be a viable channel for your company’s marketing, but have no real clue where to start with it.

Social media marketing, as with other channels of an overall marketing plan requires purpose, planning, executing and tracking. Luckily there is now a wealth of information online or in print that can tell you what you need to know. There is also a huge selection of reasonably priced courses available to run through the basics and get you started.

Some courses can be really informative and inspiring; it’s great to see people walk away inspired with a clear idea of what they are going to achieve. I can imagine that like me, they headed excitably back to their office, set up a Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn account, uploaded their logo plus some blurb and announced their online presence to the world.

2-3 months later and what was a promising start; shouting from the rooftops with excitable vigour appears to have now fizzled out to a tentative whisper. So what’s happened? Well this could be down to a number of things:

Lack of time/resource: It’s great to be the voice of your company, and obviously you would want to monitor any public communications, but chances are you simply do not have the capacity in your day to day role to handle this. It may therefore be prudent to relinquish this control and delegate the responsibility to an employee or perhaps even look at outsourcing this. Many marketing agencies can provide the social media for your company, including setting up social media guidelines that dictates the tone of voice in keeping with your company’s image.

Lack of content: It’s so easy to start things off; You merely set up your account and start adding beneficial contacts and industry affiliates…maybe you even retweet or share a few of their comments, but what about your own updates? It can be difficult to be consistent with your comments, because you want them to be informative and interesting to all readers – But you need to get this idea out of your strategy. I’m not saying you should post any old updates about how your day is going or opinions on the latest headlines (After all, this is a corporate account, not an individual voice) but don’t be rigid – Customers enjoy following companies because it’s a chance to see behind the corporate image and ultimately this encourages them to warm to the brand, giving you more of an opportunity to sell to them. As well as posting about your latest products or offers, why not show where the products are being used? Do you have any project case studies you can highlight (also providing an opportunity to link back to your company website) or perhaps even give customers an insight into the lighter side of company life – Do you have any events you can post pictures from, or perhaps a sponsored event employees are taking part in. If you are an integrator, are there any products you use that you can share their updates on, perhaps tie in a product launch with announcing that you will be a supplier of it.

Disjointed schedules: Whether you decide to handle your own social media or pass it on to a third party to handle, a schedule of proposed updates should be produced. This doesn’t need to be a rigid timetable allocating set times for updates, but look at your company’s plan for the year – What campaigns can be backed up by social media – Are there any company or even industry-wide events running through the year – Note relevant times for you to mention these events, as you want to start hinting at these before they launch. Once you have a structure in place, it’s amazing how feasible it all suddenly seems, because you now merely need to follow the plan instead of finding yourself stressing over your next post.

These points have been drawn from my personal experiences of building social media within companies, and hope it has been useful!