When you come upon a blog post titled “Five Ways Social Media is Ruining Your Business” it is difficult to ignore.
It was meant to be provocative of course, but it turned out to be one of those “what not to do” opinion pieces that also provided some good advice on positive actions and strategies.
So how does the author believe that a business could drive itself down the road to social media ruin, and what remedies does he suggest to avoid it?
Interaction as a customer service
In his recent online article in CEO World Magazine, Andrew Wilkin describes the five ways that businesses could come to harm on social media as:
o Ignoring customer service
o Being reactionary instead of proactive
o Lacking proper social media guidelines
o Neglecting to have adequate cyber security
o Overlooking the need for a content calendar
The emphasis on interaction via social media channels as part of a brand’s customer service is a point well made, and Wilkin explains that: “Too often brands forget that their social media platforms are not broadcast sites, they’re also client-facing.”
This is a direct quote from the article, but we believe that there is a word missing, and it should read “not only broadcast sites…” This is important, because social media can have a significant influence on a brand’s public relations, and that reaches out beyond a specific client focus.
There is also good advice about having guidelines with the right tone of voice for dealing with negative feedback, which must not be ignored or deleted because, as he comments: “Screenshots ensure your poor customer service lives on forever. (And gets referenced in articles in marketing magazines on what not to do).”
Additionally, the recommendation made for a content publishing calendar is valid, although we would argue that this should have a high degree of flexibility to meet changes in the B2B or B2C market environment in which a business operates. We do however totally agree that a social media posting schedule should not be automated and then ignored. As Wilkin maintains: “That way lies a tone-deaf post going live during a major crisis.”
This final point is excellent advice from a PR perspective and emphasises that the social networks are broadcasting channels as well as offering online spaces for communicating with target audiences. Their global reach is huge and a mistimed post can go viral in real time with disastrous effects to a brand image and a demotivating impact on fans of the business.
So social media campaigns need to be both customer focused while also engaging with wider audiences to build positive public awareness, which is where good PR strategies come in. We believe that these two objectives are not conflicting, quite the opposite.
That is why BBI Brandboost favours an integrated approach to social media campaigns, using the combined skills and experience of our social networking, digital marketing, SEO and PR strategists to create well-rounded, well-planned and highly effective campaigns for our clients.