Social Media have long since established themselves as valuable platforms for corporate communication. Whether traditional businesses or startups, hardly any business can afford to skip social media because this is the place where your customers are. Social media has changed the way we make business and communicate with each other. And social media provide new opportunities and challenges for corporate communication. Social media can boost or bust your business reputation and your marketing success. Here are 7 common social media mistakes that you should be aware of and strategies to avoid them.
1. No Social Media Strategy
No strategy for social media is one of the most evident social media mistakes you can make. If your corporate communication strategy misses out on social media, venturing into the world of social media will gain you nothing or even bust your reputation and success. Just as any business venture needs a business plan, your social media venture should be planned in a clearly defined process, outlining why you are doing social media and what goals you want to achieve. Without a strategy, your social media communication is most likely to fail.
Social media does not end with setting up a profile and loading your feeds with tons of content. A successful social media presence for corporate communication needs a consistent stream of relevant updates and real conversation that requires lively and vivid engagement. Otherwise, your social media feeds will soon dwindle into lifeless streams.
To avoid this, the first step of tapping into the social media world is to have a solid social media marketing strategy.
Social media for corporate communication can pursue many different goals. For example, increase brand awareness and corporate reputation, drive traffic, leads to your website, increase conversion and grow revenue, boost brand engagement and community building, or support customer service. You cannot achieve everything in one go. If you try to attain everything, you will come out with nothing.
Start with setting up your social media goals, targets, and tactics for corporate communication:
Social media can suck up a lot of valuable time and resources. A social media strategy will help you to focus on your goals and stick to your plan.
2. No Social Media Guidelines
Corporate communication on social media needs guidelines and rules. Letting your social media team working on the front without a social media policy can result in communication disasters later down the road. To avoid costly social media mistakes and PR crises, a transparent policy will help your organization understand why you are doing social media, what to do to and what is acceptable social media behavior.
Social media guidelines for corporate communication:
- Empower your social media team to unlock employee advocacy to accurately represent your organization online.
- Give your employees something to rely on when it comes to sharing content and answering questions from followers publicly.
- Keep a consistent customer experience through all channels and employees.
- Protect your company from legal issues and risks like privacy law and unlawful behavior.
- Help to establish a transparent and credible image of your organization without disclosing proprietary or confidential information.
- Safeguard a reliable, trustworthy identity for your company, brands, and products.
A clear and understandable set of rules is the key to keeping your corporate communication consistent. Social media guidelines will help you to protect your brand credibility and keep your reputation safe.
3. No Content Marketing Strategy
Valuable content is the fundament of any successful corporate communication strategy today.
Don’t make the mistake to look at your social media accounts as just another advertising channel for your brand. Boasting about your company, your products and services won’t get you anywhere on social media. Broadcasting sales messages will drive away followers and damage your reputation.
Social media users expect corporate brands to be honest, trustworthy, and helpful with answers to the questions they have. You can attract followers only by publishing and sharing valuable content that helps you elicit the correct response.
However, social media is no silo marketing. When social media content is created independently from other teams in your organization you will miss out on key assets to draw on valuable content that already exists in your company. Make sure your social media content is well integrated with your overall corporate communication strategy to capitalize on relevant content for your audience.
With an integrated social media strategy, which includes relevant members and teams in your business, you can:
- make sure to stay consistent with your overall corporate communication strategy,
- create and share content based on real challenges, concerns, and questions of real customers,
- help existing content to get in front of a wider audience and drive traffic to your blog and website,
- respond quickly to requests and issues your followers are posting,
- save valuable time and resources by reusing and repurposing existing content.
4. No Social Media Promotion Plan
Corporate communication on social media can suck up a lot of time. Sharing a piece of content once at a time will hardly have any noticeable effect at all. And, the lifetime of a social media post is very limited and this lifespan is different from platform to platform. To have an impact, every piece of created content needs to be put in front of your target audience multiple times and via multiple channels. Sharing content across social media platforms will increase content reach. Updating and re-sharing your content will extend the shelf-life of current content and harvest the power of evergreen content.
However, each social network is different and each community reacts differently to contents and formats. And, each social network and community has different peak times for engagement. Customizing and tailoring content formats and comments for each community will increase the chance of getting attention and improve the engagement rate.
A social media publishing and cross-promotion plan will help you to promote each piece of your valuable content across all suitable marketing channels in the best possible way. And a social media plan will help you to save time for your promotion that you can re-invest into your content creation process.
A social media cross-promotion plan for your corporate communication helps to define:
- Where to publish
- How to share
- When to share
- How often to share
5. No Editorial and Social Media Calendar
The absence of an editorial plan and a social media calendar will result in a random way of publishing and sharing your content. A last-minute strategy results in tight deadlines for creating content which leads to low content quality.
Instead of letting your team wasting time wondering what to post, a social media calendar will give your team an overview of what content needs to be created for which date and when to be shared on which social media channels. It will also show which content has been created, shared, and scheduled and where your plan leaves space for adding content or re-sharing posts.
A social media editorial plan and calendar for corporate communication will help you to:
- Plan you’re your content creation process well ahead
- Leave enough breathing time for reviewing your content to ensure content quality
- Create and schedule posts and updates hours, days, weeks and even month in advance
- Schedule posts at the best times for each social media platform and community
- Spot gaps that can be filled with current content and breaking news
- Ensure a consistent stream of quality content across all social media channels
Social media automation tools for scheduling and sharing will help your social media team to reduce routine work.
6. No Engagement
Social media is where the real conversation takes place. Where else do you have the chance to listen to millions of voices of fans and prospects. And where else do you have the chance to speak to millions of customers and prospects, that tell you how they really feel about your company and brand. But today’s social media users don’t just want to hear from marketers or customer support on social media. They want to learn about the real people behind the brand, all way up to the top.
By not involving relevant people of your organization into interacting with social media followers, you will be making one of the most fatal mistakes in corporate communication. Without engagement, your social media channels will soon turn into a barren and lifeless desert. If you don’t respond to your followers, you will be losing your most valuable asset for your business as well as for your marketing success. You will be losing your corporate voice.
Not responding, can damage the reputation of your brand and customer service, while costing you real sales opportunities. For example, 48% of followers are prompted to make a purchase, just by being responsive, while 30% of customers who are shunned by brands on social media are more likely to switch to a competitor.
Engaging with your followers:
- enables you to learn the real challenges and worries of your customers and prospects,
- gives you the opportunity to answer with the right arguments and answers,
- allows you to help and convince your followers with valuable content,
- strengthens your reputation as a thought leader, conversation starter, and as an expert in your industry,
- provides you will new sales opportunities and boosts your conversion,
- gives your brand a human voice.
Engagement with your followers takes time. However, if you take the tips for avoiding the first 5 social media mistakes seriously and you have a well thought out social media strategy, workflow, and a plan to create and schedule your content well in advance, this will ensure to leave enough time each day to commit to engaging with your followers.
7. No Performance Analysis
Without looking at the data, there’s no way to know what is or isn’t working on social media. If you don’t know how your content performs on each platform, you will always try to shoot in the dark when creating and publishing new content. You will not be able to create the content your audience really wants. And you cannot harvest on the full power of your best performing content.
Your social media statistics show you the comments, likes, and shares for your updates. Your website stats give you the number of page views, the time readers spend looking at your content and the websites and media, your visitors came from. These basic metrics van help your team to review and improve your campaigns continuously.
Based on your data you can adjust your overall content strategy, your promotion and seeding tactics. Performance analysis makes the content creation and promotion process much easier and saves valuable time for engagement.
Social media provide valuable platforms for corporate communication. Using the information above will help you to avoid fatal social media mistakes that will waste valuable time, money, and resources and that can harm your company and brand reputation. With an integrated social media and content approach within your corporate communication strategy, basic guidelines for your team, forward planning as well as a basic analysis and review processes you will master social media marketing in less time and with better results. Smart social media tools and plugins will help you with your tasks in even less time and with fewer resources. This will allow you to harness the full power of social media to boost engagement, leads, and conversion.
Learn more about these other five common mistakes professional firms make on social media, in this great infographic from Bianchi Public Relations.