Social media: It’s still a thing.
When was the last time your CEO checked your brand’s DMs? (and if you don’t know what a “DM” is referring to, oh boy). How many people who work for your company follow you on Instagram or retweet your successes on their personal pages? Do you even know who is running your social media accounts?
If your answers are "never," "none" and "no," you can afford to be more social.
Many brands treat social media as a hobby – an everyday task that’s fun to have but not considered a complete necessity for growth, engagement and consumer loyalty.
The reality is, social media should be the pulse of your company. It’s the thing that keeps your brand human and lets today’s consumer know that you’re still alive, especially if you’re vying for the attention of millennials or Gen Z. Your strategy should be discussed in sales meetings, marketing meetings and every meeting that has to do with your consumer and brand identity.
If you’re not constantly asking yourself, “Is this a place for social media?” you’re missing out on massive opportunities. It’s OK if the answer is no. Not everything your company does should be documented on the internet, but brands need to start thinking through the social lens at all angles.
A carefully thought-out social media plan can catapult your brand into orbit, helping you reach new territory and gain fresh industry insights. It can double your ROI, attract new consumers and touch base with industry insights. It’s not just a place that allows you to communicate with your consumer; it lets your consumer communicate with you. They tell you what they like, what they don’t like and how you can be better. It’s a data gold mine – not to mention a 24/7 focus group that allows you to set trackable, scalable goals for engagement.
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But achieving those goals isn’t just about spending money on Facebook ads or using 30 hashtags. It’s not about "posting this" or "posting that." In order to create an effective social strategy that works, you have to be smart, especially in the content jungle we live in. It’s a huge responsibility and requires intricate levels of strategy, creative thinking and marketing mastery. Yet many brands will just toss their social media management roles to the first millennial they can find with some followers and a Twitter handle.
It’s time we start recognizing social media as the marketing marvel it is. If history repeats itself, we’re nearing the time brands refused to make websites because their word-of-mouth marketing was doing so well on its own.
Wake up. Make the investment, and find the right people who can turn on the ROI from your online presence. Call on storytellers, branding experts and designers to create a voice your consumer actually wants on their social feeds.
Think about social media as a living, breathing thing. It responds to how you treat it. If you engage with it, it engages back. If you don’t feed it, it dies. But if you feed it right, it will continue to grow and grow.
If your employees don’t know how to use it, show them. Get everyone up to speed on your channels. Take classes if you have to. The more you know what’s possible, the better you can make each platform work for your brand.
It’s necessary to note that every brand is different. Just because one brand can afford to capture helicopter footage over a private island doesn’t mean your brand has to. Carve out a budget that works for you, and make sure every penny is used correctly. Test things, and then make them better. Then test them again.
Lastly, accept it, but don’t overdo it. The world has gone digital, and so many consumers look to social media for guidance and approval. They’re buying more online, sharing more online and spending more time online. It can be a scary place for brands to navigate, but if you approach it with a strategy, you’ll be able to find your place.
More importantly, you’ll be able to connect with your consumer on a level that brands haven’t been able to before.
Now go check your DMs!