Published on February 6th, 2012 | by bubble0
The Challenges Of Making Your Social Media Strategy….’Social’
by Natalie @BubbleJobs
Most businesses have now come around to the idea that their Social Media strategy doesn’t work if it is used to merely broadcast information to followers and fans. Broadcasting information does tend to remove the social aspect of social media, leaving you with very few followers and even fewer interactions with the followers that you do have. Unless you’re one of the top brands in the world that everyone just ‘loves to bits’ then it’s very difficult to build a social media following that is attached directly to your corporate entity or brand. In most cases it’s the personality of the person running your social media campaign that people will follow or build a social ‘relationship’ with. Social Media is after all about being social and that infers that people like to interact with people, NOT faceless organisations.
As a result of this, more and more companies are asking their Social Media Managers and Community Managers to develop the ‘social’ aspect of their social media campaigns. This is done by developing an online persona, which adds a personality to your Tweets and Facebook posts. The idea is that by having a genuine persona in your social media strategy, humanises your brand enabling you fans and followers to relate to your business or brand more closely.
So now you’re probably thinking, “well that’s pretty obvious”, and it is, to a certain extent. But before you all go off and tell your social media manager to make your company Twitter feed or Facebook page more personal, take a minute to consider the potential pitfalls. Many large brands face the challenges of staff turnover or churn. It’s a fact of life, and many a HR person will tell you that succession planning or staff retention are just as important as recruitment and talent attraction.
So in the context of your social media campaigns, if you encourage your social media team to develop online personalities which your audience can really relate to, what happens when one or two of them want to move on? If you’re hiring for social media jobs and you recruit someone with a different personality or approach, how do you incorporate that into your existing strategy? Do you get them to adopt the persona(s) that have already been developed, or do you start afresh? How will that affect your follower or fan base? It’s a tricky conundrum and if you get it completely wrong the relationship you’ve created between your audience and your brand can become distorted or even worse, lost completely.
And it can get even more challenging than that! In a recent, reported case a company is in fact trying to sue their former social media manager because when he left all his Twitter followers followed him to his new employer. Noah Kravitz used to run a Twitter account for a US Mobile News site called Phonedog. Old Noah alleges that the company allowed, (even encouraged) him to make the Twitter account personal as long as he Tweeted about the business. So he created an account called @Phonedog_Noah. Well, seems like Noah was a bit of a dab hand at the old Social Media thing and he successfully built up over 17,000 followers. So when the time came for him to move on to pastures new, Noah changed his username and guess what? All 17,000 odd followers went with him! Phonedog is apparently seeking damages of £1.60 per follower per month…you can do the maths.
The case is ongoing and it’ll be interesting to see which way the ruling goes. It’s an extreme example but my point is that getting your Social Media strategy right is a much more complicated process than you may initially think. There’s a whole host of factors to consider and it’s certainly much more complex than ensuring your company has a Facebook page or Twitter account. Ultimatley, I think the most important element to consider is building genuine personality into your social media campaigns. Each business will have its own needs, and its own approach but whichever path you choose to follow you should take care to ensure you are planning not just for the ‘now’ but a long way down the road as well.
How do you think companies should make their social media strategy more social? Leave us a comment below…