Simply, yes. A resounding yes. Here’s why [i]:
With more than 2 billion people on social media, conversations have long shifted onto the digital platforms. Consumption of information has migrated online. In order to reach out, businesses need stay current, relevant and most importantly, competitive. The rules are simple, snooze and lose. However, being on social media is more than posting regular updates on any social media platforms. Much more thought and effort are required.
The first visible step of joining the digital conversation is establishing presence on social media platforms. It is not wise to engage on all available platforms but neither is selecting out of whim. The right platforms are where the business’ or organisation’s target audience are on. Here are the top social media in Singapore:
Aside from compatibility with target audience, the platform should also be relevant to the business. Google + for example, is the third most popular social media platform in the word but hardly make it to top five in Singapore. For visual driven businesses, such as interior design, jewellery and fashion, Pinterest may be a smaller community but is worthy of consideration.
PRoTip: Beware of duplicating content. Instead, optimise each content format for different platforms to maximise the messages’ reach and traction.
Many social media crises arise from communication of personal emotions or ignoring of genuine (albeit negative) sentiments. It does not mean that the netizens do not appreciate personal connection with brands on social media. The key is to achieve that delicate balance between being professional and sounding personal. Remember, respond and not react.
It helps to step out of the cold walls of generic corporate messaging and engage with consumers in a more approachable tone. A study shows that brands which actively converse with their online followers are most likely to gain brand loyalty.[ii]
PRoTip: Share about local community events and local businesses, employee stories and corporate values. This makes the brand more relatable.
It’s a no-brainer: Consistency can only be derived from hard work. A company that is not committed in growing the content of its social media platforms are doomed to be abandoned and forgotten. However, simply working hard is never enough. Not only is it labour intensive to be sitting in front of the computer whipping up content after content throughout the day, every day, followers can also be annoyed and decide to end this virtual relationship.
Instead, make use of analytic tools and research data to predict the best times to post and best type of content to post.
To avoid firefighting, prepare and schedule these contents in advance. Simply amend if necessary when the contents are due to be published.
PRoTip: Being consistent doesn’t mean being boring. Ensure a healthy combination of original and third-party content to keep the audience entertained and engaged.
Social media not only engages the broader community but it also doubles as a ‘customer’ interface. When a company decides to brave the waters of social media, it must be prepared to answer or address feedbacks. While not all brands can get away with sass like Wendy’s on Twitter, it is worse to ignore or delete comments and feedbacks. When encountering hostile comments, always address the issue politely and offer to resolve the issue in private.
PRoTip: Follow through with statements or promises made on social media. Hell hath no fury like a netizen scorned.
Creating a social media account or page is easy but being able to sustainably and effectively manage it requires strategic planning, immense dedication and a clear understanding of the online community and how to appropriately converse with them. Unless a company has an in-house social media specialist, this is a job best done by a public relations firm.