What marketing directors need to know when managing corporate social media

Sep 29, 2014

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Managing corporate social mediaA marketing director needs a good set of talking points to properly inspire and manage their social media crew. Let’s look at some opportunities to improve your company’s social activity and share a few thoughts on what to be aware of when managing social media at a corporate level.

Add character and personality to your company

The office atmosphere you physically endure might be dry, boring, and uninspired but you need to resist allowing that motif to creep into the way you’re managing corporate social media accounts.

Social media is where our personal lives spill out digitally for all to see. The same can hold true at the corporate level. Show pictures of your employees living their real life at a company event or other fun setting or in the middle of a unique brainstorm session which, of course, helps your clients. Take a candid picture of company prototypes (when allowed) and give your audience “an insider secret”. Brag a little, if you get a nice warming letter from an overly satisfied customer, and share some of it. The options are endless but the point persists, breathe life into your social channels.

It’s worth pointing out that you should understand who your viewers are and ensure whomever is doing your writing also understands them. Allowing a college intern to manage a private equity firm’s social channels without supervision and without industry connections, knowledge, or understanding might have unpleasant returns.

 

Don’t be afraid of the negative, learn how to use it

It’s social media, the negative interaction is inevitable, but the fear of it can paralyze even the largest of companies from truly exploring social media as the corporate marketing powerhouse that it can be.

First step is to get over it, understand that close to everyone who uses social media is aware that every business out there probably has some unhappy customers and from time to time, they will comment. It’s going to be your reaction to said negative that determines if it hurts.

Here’s how to roll with the punches:

  • Respond! – Quickly and with care. Others are watching and listening to how your company listens.
  • If you can handle it quickly, do so in front of your audience, if this issue is complex – offer to continue the conversation in a format more suitable such as phone, chat, or email.
  • Do not delete comments, this destroys customers confidence and only infuriates the complainers.
  • Don’t get defensive, it looks petty and childish. Rather be calm and professional while being swift and accurate.

 

Understand your audience

Different social media sites have different audiences and demographics. Properly managing corporate social media will require you to understand this. Instagram might not be the best location for your retirement home dialogue and LinkedIn might not work so well for your polka competition. Know which channels to be on, but also who you’re talking to – and who your company’s audience is? Adjust your dialogue, questions, comments, reposts, retweets, news, etc. for them and for their interests. Assess who’s finding/writing/resourcing your post content. Do they understand your audience? Or do they post what they feel is interesting and relevant?

 

Be different

Watch your competition, are they all spewing out the same stuff, same ideas, same content? Try to shake it up. Now we understand that there are going to be industry news and events which are mandatory, but when you have the flexibility, use it. Look for relevant, note-worthy, and engaging content that no one else has touched on but that you think you’re audience will appreciate. If you can’t find it, then write it! You might be on to something that’s lacking in the industry but others are looking for.

 

Diversify your talent

Don’t keep social media all within one department, utilize your company’s experts and leverage your vendor’s expertise. You’ll appear much more knowledgeable and therefore credible on the topic at hand. Chances are, the experts “insights” are going to be more valid then your “insights” if you’re not an expert. Don’t force it unless you have to. Plus, managing corporate social media can be a tedious chore, let others help.

 

Optimize your exposure

Chances are your company also has a blog (which you probably manage as well) and/or maybe a resource center with white papers and the like. Are you posting every blog on the relevant channels? Does your blog offer your social channel links and following? Do your company’s email signatures have a link to your blog and social (some can even incorporate a current blog feed with your most recent post – http://www.wisestamp.com)? How about all your websites, your email marketing? If you have consistent, daily activity, consider a feed on your website.

 

Understand your data

Use the data analysis tools each social channel offers (some more then others) and follow your high points and low points. Understand what works for you and what doesn’t. Continually improve and continually track. Doing this can help you refine a strategy that is perfectly prepared for your company’s audience and maximize your potential social media ROI. As popular as Facebook is in most companies social framework, here’s a link to learn more about this capability for Facebook’s insights here: https://www.facebook.com/help/336893449723054

 

Find alliances

Do you have friends in the industry, or another related industry, who can vouch for you and talk about your offerings or service? Do the same for them and share the social wealth.

 

Reinforce your brand

We get it, social media is quick and spontaneous and fun, and sometimes you just really want to misplace your brand guide and have a good time with your company’s logo or word mark. Try to resist, although the timeline on new content is much shorter to social then it is to print, brand guidelines should still apply (if social use recommendations are not included in your company’s guide, it might be a good time to think about adding them in). Additionally, what’s online tends to live for a long time. How terrible would it be to finalize a useful how-to video and hastily throw your brand mark improperly over the video only to see it reach some viral success?

 

Be correct!

Grammar, spelling, and punctuation. So easy to do but for some reason it’s just really hard to get right consistently. Remember, spell check doesn’t catch everything, take a few extra seconds and re-read. Better yet, have someone else re-read, and then post.