As much as social media can be a great tool for communicating and engaging with your audience, as well as an invaluable resource of information, there is also the potential for it to bring problems as well if it is not utilised correctly.
I mentioned in my first post that businesses often decide they need social media without knowing why or how they really plan to use it. Unfortunately many companies do proceed in this manner with no real idea about the social media sphere or how to communicate with their desired audience. The best way to prevent this happening is to listen. A business needs to understand their brand and how best to present it. They also need to be aware of what their competitors are doing and saying.
Developing a strategy of how best to communicate your brand message with keywords and key terms relevant to the audience you are targeting within social media portals is of high importance here. Monitoring your community is crucial to this being a success, then you can listen to what they like, what is working, and sometimes more importantly, what isn’t working. That way a business can ensure they stay on top of many core areas such as marketing, PR, sales, customer service, partnering, and so on.
Another challenge I have faced in different companies throughout my career is ownership of social media within the business. Who should have responsibility and the final say, and ultimately, accountability? All too often the core messages can be lost by too many cooks wanting to contribute and ultimately diluting any brand message as different departments are pulling in different directions. It’s absolutely crucial to work as a team in these cases – goals must be established straight away so everyone knows what the targets and aims are. The most important thing in this case is to prevent conflicting representations of your company and brand, every department contributing needs to be ‘on message’.
My next blog will be a continuation of how to prevent social media issues arising, where I will explore how to avoid communicating in a manner that can detract from the message you are putting out into the social sphere.