It’s no secret that a strong social strategy yields results. According to findings from PayPal’s eCommerce Index, 44% of UK consumers have utilised social platforms for making purchases, and 18% of them make weekly or even more frequent transactions.. Social media drives sales, increases brand awareness, transforms customer service, drives fandom and builds loyal communities. So why are brands still wary of social, turning their comments on and engaging with their audiences reactively on their platforms and proactively seeking to engage on other peoples?
The truth is that many brands are missing out on realising the power of social media through the fear of getting it wrong. Maybe the legal team thinks it’s too risky. Or the team is worried about the backlash if they get it wrong. Or perhaps it just all seems too ever changing and time-consuming.
We are calling this Social Fright and it’s time to break down the barriers leading to this fear, and enable brands to truly soar on social.
To help get you started, here are our 8 barrier-breaking top tips to think about when you are considering re-evaluating Social Media as part of your marketing mix and bringing in an experienced partner to support you and help you fight the fright;
Tip 1: Treat social as a full funnel channel
Social Media has the ability to hit all of your marketing objectives from awareness to sales. And just like any marketing activity you need to know what you want it to achieve from the off. Set clear goals and objectives, and manage expectations. What is your priority, do you want reach, sales, engagement? To build a really loyal community? To reach new audiences? Relegating social to ‘fun’ content and memes limits its power. Linking it back to your brand values and giving it the focus it deserves will help allocate the right resource to ensure its success.
Tip 2: Be where your audience is
Understand where your audience is on social. If they are on TikTok or Reddit and you are not, why? But remember, you don’t need to be everywhere – choose to focus on the platforms that really matter to your audience and will enable you to achieve your objectives The mantra to follow? Do a few platforms incredibly well before moving onto the full suite.
Tip 3: Find experts to help you
If you are short on the resources or best practice knowledge to set you up for success, agencies like us are here to help. It’s our job to stay on top of trends, platform changes, and to help you get it right, whether it’s out of hours engagement, ideation sessions with your inhouse team or exploring VR options to create innovative content that pushes the boundaries of social and excites your audience. We have the capabilities to support you and can scale our service up and down based on what you need.
Tip 4: Embrace the unknown and unpredictability of social
Don’t be frightened to embrace the fast paced ever changing world of social media. Sometimes amazing things happen when you spark a conversation and people create their own content (or have fun with yours). You can’t treat social media as you would a broadcast channel. If it’s too planned or staged, it will feel inauthentic and the longer you procrastinate or have to go through rounds of feedback and approval, the moment of magic will be lost. An experienced social media team will help you react quickly to trends, seed great conversations, stand out from your competitors and create imaginative content.
Tip 5: Be prepared for backlash & crisis
Having a bold opinion on social media will create a buzz and undoubtedly create both positive and negative responses. The fear of negativity or a backlash against your brand shouldn’t paralyse your brand’s potential to have a strong point of view. Instead of fearing it, anticipate and prepare for such situations, by ensuring your team is ready to respond. At The Social Element, we run social simulations with our clients to ensure everyone is comfortable and on the same page with the planned approach. This means that when you need to react quickly you can – and you are ready to respond if a crisis does happen, keeping you in control
Tip 6: A good social playbook enables you to play!
Social is called social for a reason – it’s about human connectivity. Invest in creating a social playbook that defines how your brand thinks, feels and acts on social. This is your brand as a living breathing human being. Having a playbook that defines how you play ensures consistency so you can present yourself as a strong brand who knows who it is. Concentrate on building the fandom and communities that fit this and will add most value to you and your social channels.
Tip 7: Always listen
Start really listening on social and reap the rewards with compelling audience data that enables you to enrich your planning. Social enables you to watch, listen and learn from your audiences, from other brands and your competitors. Sometimes the most interesting golden insight nugget is found in a comment, trend or even a customer complaint.
Tip 8. Be prepared to invest to get results
Having a fully operational, experienced and dedicated social media team is not cheap. Social’s throwaway nature gives off the impression that it’s super easy. To truly nail it takes time, expertise and you need the right sized team on the ground to respond quickly and create engaging content that fuels more engagement.
Social media is a long-term investment, and with the right level of investment yields great measurable results. Get in touch to find out more and let us help you FIGHT THE FRIGHT.