HOW SHOULD YOU TREAT SOCIAL? SHOULD YOU BE MORE INCLUSIVE OR CREATE A SEPARATE STRATEGY?
It’s 2016, we all know that everybody and their dog has some form of social media account and we have all been told that social media is massively important for your business and can deliver the best ROI known to man.
I’m not going to say anything particularly new in this I just want to argue for more inclusion with Social and then immediately argue that it should have a separate strategy and then hopefully we’ll come swirling to some sort of understanding with the hope that it will make you look at Social slightly differently.
Facebook now accounts for 1 in 5 page views on the internet (according to this article) and other Social media channels are catching up. It’s this kind of data that has made people put down their print advert orders and start looking to the internet to market effectively. I feel the problem is that Social is deemed so powerful that everyone believes it requires it’s own team in a separate room somewhere that looks like a coffee house and is filled with 20 somethings.
I think these people are wrong. Social needs to be everyone in your company and it needs to be in everything that you do because that’s what being “sociable” is. Dave, your friend, might be in finance and does sums all day but I bet that sometimes Dave tells you about these things and that occasionally this is interesting. Dave tells you his story and if he’s any good you will listen and be interested.
While I’m all for companies having a brand image on a social media channel I think that we now need to be looking to employees to get social as well. Facebook feeds are filled with stories; some of which might be fake, some might be saddening and some you might just not want to read but all of them are emotive and that’s what gets them shared. These stories should come from everywhere in the company not just the marketing department. Your social media channels should just be a massive advert for how great it is to work at your company and show people just exactly what that work involves.
So there it is I’ve said it. Social should be everyone in the company and should be something that all employees think about. This comes with a big problem; what if someone says the wrong thing? It’s a worry and I’ve seen it cause many problems for brands, however, I think it can be solved with education and the right company attitude. Let your staff know that they are part of the social media family and that they are representing the company and let them know if they want to keep their social media seperate then you’d appreciate a statement letting people know that their views are their own and not the views of your company. It can be a problem but only if we don’t educate people and is easily solved with a firm social policy that employees are aware of.
Ok so that was my view on a more inclusive Social strategy, this is my view on a having a separate Social strategy. As a platform Social can provide all of the following things; brand awareness, advertising, customer retention, customer services, lead generation, sales and probably a few more things to boot.
So the first question is; have you ever thought about doing all those things through your Social Media channels? If you haven’t then you need to think about it because that is where the money is.
Social media platforms are free to set up and free to add content to.
Facebook advertising is cheaper that Google PPC.
Customer service complaints can be dealt with quickly and in public. (This isn’t crazy it just let’s everyone see how great you are at customer service. No one gets everything right all the time)
If you don’t have a strategy for taking advantage of all the great things that can be done with Social then you should get one. Don’t just take it from me look at the big companies like Ford and see how much they are investing in to their Social channels.
Can you afford to not invest time and effort in to making this work?
RIGHT SO…I’M LOST?
Well hopefully you aren’t that lost. My point is this. Social is all about story telling and who better to tell the story of what your company does than the people actually creating the content of those stories. Marketing is great but I’m a firm believer that marketing is for everyone and you can make great gains by getting everyone to tell your story. Social is also massively powerful and can be used for a great deal of things so you should develop a separate strategy (that includes everyone) to take advantage of all the possibilities.
Oh and finally… Do it FAST! It’s a big world out there and you don’t have time to sit around not joining in.