Do all social media users in the company understand tone of voice?

With a brand having established which social networks they aim to target it’s fans through, whilst also delegating responsibilities to employees to ensure the profiles are used in the correct manner, it is important for the brand to then to teach employees the correct manner in which to represent the brand when looking to acquire new fans. It is imperative for employees to remember that the posts they make through brand-specific pages are an online incarnation of the brand, and as such are a representation through which social network users will come to associate the brand. The overall message and tone-of-voice adopted by employees when speaking on behalf of the brand must be consistent across all social media communications and interactions. Front-line workers may be social media users, but may not always come from a professional communications background. It is more important for these people to have a practical guide to “speaking on behalf of the brand”.

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SM Tips- A sure fire way to lose fans and followers

Copying content across different networks – You need to determine what types of fans engaging through your different networks. People use different networks for different reasons and a brand must look to understand each fan base and their differences before reaching out. Varying content will help maintain user numbers across different networks and grow that fan base too. If you follow a brand across multiple platforms then receiving the same content on three separate networks at the same time is going to make you want to turn off. It might look an easy short-cut for the marcomms team, but it is a sure fire way to reduce the number of fans and followers. Be warned…

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SM Tips- Go niche to satisfy your various audiences.

It is important to attract a wider audience base but it’s easy for a brand to alienate the fans that originally helped make it a success. Yes, this may require effort to deliver more niche content but you need to do this to ensure true fans of your brand continue to follow and engage. You might want to think about increasing the number of social media accounts you run by segmenting the interest groups. Not every person who is a fan of Jaguar Land Rover is not interested in every single car and only a small few might be interested in JLR’s clean engine technology.

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SM Tips- Please integrate your social media

Engaging without a strategy – It is paramount that a business has a strategy in place prior to engaging with fans. That Social Media strategy should not stand alone though, it should make up part of the wider marketing and communications strategy already in place. Without a strategy, employees may stray from the brand’s key message, and as such the business may be poorly portrayed to potential new fans, damaging the online reputation it is attempting to develop.

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Social Media influence beyond 3 degrees

It would appear that this is the year that social marketing moves beyond one-to-one engagement and will move towards influencing up to three degrees beyond the direct contact.  A Harvard research study highlighted that information and influence will travel beyond our direct network and can travel up to three degrees across a social network. Of course you won’t know those people, but you might find yourself influencing them.

So how do the big brands capitalise on or even commercialise this? Is this the Holy Grail of Social Marketing? Has anyone successfully done this? How easy is this to copy?

This should keep the big social media brains busy for the next few months.


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At what stage does social media move outside the comms team?

Social media is a black art. Or is it? At the moment social media activity tends to be confined to the communications team. They handle all the social media even if the content such as customer service is not part of their normal remit.

In companies where multiple divisions or experiences exist then perhaps those responsible for their individual areas are the best people to communicate and enagage with the audience? Is the head of the Council Library the best person to engage or should it be managed by the central comms team?

Of course the risks need to be considered before letting people loose on social media. I most certainly agree that the comms team have to be at the centre of it all, but perhaps with their guidance and training they can manage an army of social media experts rather than do all the work themselves. Of course tools such as CrowdControlHQ do make life a lot easier. Manage the usernames and passwords across multiple accounts, protect Facebook Pages from abusive content and co-ordinate activity across large teams.

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Customer Service and Social Media- a match made in heaven

Social Media has an interesting and immediate role to play in managing customer activity. It can be used to handle both praise and complaints. If someone feels strongly enough to write in or phone then you know they are pretty committed to trying to get their issue resolved. The longer it takes to resolve the less likely likely you are to be able to convert that person into an advocate. Granted by using social media you might invite more complaints, but if you can quickly resolve these then you have the opportunity to turn these people into advocates of your brand. People will tell others about how quickly the issue was resolved and hey presto you are able to influence far more people than you can by responding back to a letter. Just remember that not listening to customers and not taking any action can result in the sort of medicine that United Airlines had to swallow. The last thing you want is a 10% drop in share price!


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