Simplifying social media for global brands
The challenges of running multiple branded social media accounts
It’s hard enough to ensure traditional marketing works with the idiosyncrasies of each of these individual elements, balancing the voices of individual brands and markets, and covering cultural and language nuances.
Social media has taken this complexity to a whole new level.
For many brands, their social media has spiraled out of control. Regaining that control feels nigh on impossible. If this resonates with you and your business, please know that you’re not alone.
We recently reached out to more than 60 top global brands to find out what keeps them up at night about their social media. We asked them to score how in control they felt about their company’s social media. On average, they hit a worryingly low 6.5 out of 10.
Driving this score is the fact that they face some big challenges. The top three are: a lack of resource vs the size of the challenge; containing and engaging with consumer content; and having too many channels to manage. Brands also feel unprepared in the event of a crisis, and worry about having a lack of consistent content across markets.
It’s a tough world to navigate, even for the biggest brands.
But there is some good news! The fact is that there is a way forward if you put the right structure and support in place; it might feel like a wall to climb but there are ways you can simplify even the most complex social media environment.
Creating calm from chaos
1. Step back and look at the landscape
Take a breath and get some objectivity in terms of where you’re at and where you want to be. What are your business objectives and how are they linked to your social media strategy? What are the barriers you have in achieving your goals?
When we do this our clients say it feels a bit like therapy.
2. Start with an audit.
The Social Element’s social media insight’s practice can help your brand create a solid plan for every bit of social media including content, social customer service, moderation and more. Together, we’ll look at your social media channels, your social media objectives, your digital marketing objectives and reconcile all of these with your overarching business goals.
3. Work out what you want to happen.
What do you want to achieve from your social media? Crucially, what do your customers want from you? Insight from your audit (based on hard data and social listening technology) will help you understand how they connect with you and why your customers engage with you on each platform and account.
4. Make the big decisions to inform your strategy.
Once you know your overall objectives, you can decide how to split channels and accounts to meet those objectives. Consider:
- Purpose of your social media channels
- Social media per brand, sub-brand or department
- Centralised versus local control
- Language and cultural fluency
Creating the structure for delivery
Many of our clients use our hub and spoke model for delivering social media for brands that want to retain some central control but still deliver relevant, localised content and engagement where they need it.
Within the central ‘hub’ sits the overall strategy, creative direction, tone of voice, brand guidelines, and standards for engagement and reporting. The local ‘spokes’ take responsibility for implementation of the strategy, localisation, engagement, quality assurance and data analysis and insights.
Creating the rules of engagement
Next, agree on the rules that will govern all your social media accounts. Many of our clients work with playbooks we have designed for them, which include guidance on all elements of your social media, including:
Your brand’s voice
Adapted for social media
With practical examples of what is and isn’t acceptable.
Including frequency and times of engagement.
Managing multiple accounts
If you want to feel as though you’re back in control of your social media, you need to know that it’s being managed in a way that’s consistent, compelling and creative. You need:
The best tools, supporting the best people.
Social listening tools will serve you data on what people are saying about you online. But data only goes so far. To make it actionable, you need deep insight created by human intelligence.
Having the best people in all the right locations who really under the brand’s value and voice.
You need to stay on top of all the latest thinking on content types preferred by each channel. Shake it up regularly, and balance different types of content.
Publishing schedule and tools.
You need great planning when managing multiple accounts. Ensure your teams have all the resources they need to publish your content.
Promoting your social media posts will ensure it is reaching the right audiences.
A way to measure and review against your objectives.
A great social media strategy will be tweaked all the time based on live data and insights.