People like to do business with other people. This is a basic truth, and something that companies both large and small have struggled with through the years. The advent of social media, however, gives companies a great way to bridge that gap.
Corporate social media works best when it isn’t a “corporate” account, filled with nothing but advertisements for products, or stilted marketing language. If you look at the success stories — NASA, Teavana and Starbucks are a few — they all have one thing in common: they feel like you are talking to a real person. It doesn’t feel like a throwaway, or like ten different people are responding to whatever they feel like on a given day. The accounts certainly all have promotional information, but they also take the time to respond to people personally, and offer things like contests to get their audience involved in the conversation.
Conversation is exactly the point. You want to get people talking to and about your brand and company, and they won’t do that if they perceive the company social media accounts as “wisdom from on high” coming down from a corporate overlord. People get involved when they feel like their voice will be heard, and that they are talking to a live human being who empathizes with them, and understands their hopes, dreams and motivations.
Set Yourself Apart
So how do you create an online presence that does more than just promote a product or service? How do you create a personality and community that get people interacting with you on a regular basis?
- Choose the right person for the job.
- Trust them with the authority to make decisions.
- Give them the tools they need to manage successful campaigns.
First, you chose someone to be your “point person” and make them the final authority of all things social media. Pick someone who can devote time every day to posting information, responding to comments, liking and sharing other people’s posts, etc. This can’t be something that is done as an afterthought — it needs to be the primary responsibility of one member (or a very small group) of your team, who understands the power of social interactions.
Once you have dedicated a person to be your social media guru, trust them to do their job. That’s not to say that the rest of the company shouldn’t weigh in on what they would like to see highlighted, or done differently, because a good business ensures every part fits together perfectly, and social media is just one piece of the puzzle. Trust your guru to know when and how to get the most impact, and give them enough free reign to take advantage of rapidly breaking trends.
A good example of just that is Oreo cookie; during the Super Bowl, there was a blackout in the stadium and Oreo’s social media people had the ability to create and post a quick promo. It was a tweet of an image of an Oreo on a white-to-black gradient that said, “You can still dunk in the dark.” That tweet garnered as much, if not more, exposure as many of the very expensive Super Bowl television ads. Give your social media gurus enough authority to jump on trends as they happen, and your brand will reap the benefits.
Once you have the right people in place, with the right permissions, you need the right tool to help them do their job. Tools like Jugnoo’s SoMeAnalyzer™ keep them on top of every social media platform, with its technology giving them insight into the trends as they happen. By giving them the data to back up their efforts, you empower your social media gurus to be far more deeply involved in their communities, which in turn makes your company and brand far more accessible. That gives you the human element, which will power your growth far into the future.