For many companies, social media marketing can be quite intimidating. It is our belief that simply keeping some specific principles in mind can make using social media a considerably less daunting proposition. Below are three social media best practices – along with some well-publicized mistakes – to help illustrate their importance and ensure you avoid the same pitfalls.
Look before you leap. Capitalizing on popular hashtags in order to increase visibility is a common social media practice. However, it is always wise to take the time to properly analyze the appropriateness of such an action with regard to context. This point is made abundantly clear when considering DiGiorno Pizza’s use of the hashtag #WhyIStayed back in 2014. This hashtag became popular directly following the Ray Rice domestic violence scandal and was used to spread awareness about what victims of domestic violence go through. Attempting to jump onto this trending hashtag, DiGiorno tweeted, “#WhyIStayed You had pizza.” DiGiorno Pizza immediately experienced a backlash and issued several apologies for the lapse in judgment.
Avoid censoring. Smucker’s learned this lesson the hard way when it deleted posts that disagreed with the company’s politics. Social media is a valuable tool in building relationships with your target audience. For this to occur, your customers need to feel as though they can engage with your brand on social media platforms and voice their opinions without fear of being censored. Although you never want offensive or threatening comments on your Twitter account or Facebook page, letting negative posts about your company go untouched and allowing discussions to run their natural course is a great way to convey transparency in order to build trust and loyalty.
Be mindful about delegating social media duties. Social media is increasingly becoming an important aspect of a company’s marketing output. Accordingly, the personnel you place in control of your company’s social media should be chosen carefully. Social media deserves the same amount of attention and supervision as all the other pieces of your marketing strategy. For instance, a summer intern might not be the best choice to basically be the face and mouthpiece of your company. For proof of the validity of this point, go no further than American Apparel’s 4th of July Tumblr post debacle of 2014. Instead of posting what was thought to be an impressive image of celebratory fireworks, the image American Apparel actually posted was of the 1986 Challenger space shuttle disaster. In its apology, the company stated that the individual responsible for the post was too young to recognize the image.
Are you interested in strengthening your company’s social media efforts but don’t know where to start? Weise can help! Contact us here.