Using Social Media to Protect Your Brand

Using Social Media to Protect Your Brand

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Today, effective social media marketing is one of the most powerful tools in a business’s arsenal. Having a social media presence allows brands to promote their services and put their name in front of vast audiences − more so than ever before.

It’s estimated that there are 2.34 billion social media users in the world, making up around 31 per cent of the entire population. In 2016, the exposure that comes with using social media can determine whether a business flounders or excels.

That’s not to say that social media is without any potential downfalls. Social media opens you up to bigger audiences and a bigger chance of failure. Anything your business says or does will be picked up immediately − make a wrong move and you’ll have some serious backtracking to do.

If you’re using social media to help attract audiences to your products or services, there are a few ‘house rules’ you need to follow to ensure that you are protecting your brand name.

Create a social media policy

Chances are that your social media activity won’t always be run by one person. By having a social media policy in place, everyone on your team will be fully aware of what they can and can’t do. This can apply to their personal accounts, too.

Your social media policy should coincide with your company culture and guidelines to help ensure that every message delivered is on brand. Alongside this, it’s important to outline what is regarded as appropriate behaviour and what isn’t. When someone is in doubt, they can refer to your policy to make sure what they are posting is acceptable.

One of the biggest global companies, Adidas, implements a thorough social media policy to all its employees. Whilst they actively encourage staff to tell the world about their work and to share their passion, staff are reminded that they are personally responsible for the content they put out there and that internal communications should always be kept confidential.

Approve it

Following on from your social media policy, if multiple members of staff are posting on your accounts, it may be worth implementing an approval system.

Social media tools allow you to control how much permission you provide to your team. Hootsuite even has a double approval system that helps to prevent mistakes. If your social tools don’t have such capabilities, even just subbing content before it is published is a great way of covering your back.

Monitor your industry

Keeping up to date with current talking points and newsworthy stories will help you to keep abreast of what is relevant to your audience on social media. However, it’s important not to jump on stories for the sake of it.

Look closely at things that matter to your business and your audience, ensuring that what you share is useful and will encourage engagement. You should be regularly checking the news; it’s a good idea to sign up for update services, such as Google Alerts, too. You don’t want to be the one business still talking about something when everyone else has moved on.

There are also plenty of awareness days each year, so look for ones relevant to your industry and think of creative ways to use them to help your brand stand out.

Engage with audiences

One of the biggest benefits of using social media is how easy it can be to engage and interact with your audience. Use this to your advantage and keep an eye on what people are saying about you. When it’s positive, go out of your way to thank them − either through a reply, retweet or ‘like’.

Negative comments will happen. Social media offers up a free platform for people to say anything, and many times consumers will be direct about their feelings. These comments need to be addressed and rectified. From a customer service point of view, there’s not much worse than a brand that publicly ignores its customers on social.

Research by Lithium Technologies found that 78 per cent of those who complain to a brand on Twitter expect a response within an hour. Think positively about how you can resolve the issue, ensuring that the customer leaves the interaction satisfied with your response.

Stay organised

In order to be effective at the social media game, it’s important to stay organised. Come up with a plan of action for the coming weeks and months that coincides with your seasonality, product launches or industry events.

Using a campaign calendar for your activity can be a great way to help your team stay focused whilst creating regular, effective content.

Analyse your results

There’s not much point in just posting content. You need to be actively checking your results to ensure that they are performing well. Each platform has its own set of analytics tools which will allow you to see what works best for you. These tools will let you come up with a more considered social media strategy, allowing you the best opportunity for social success.

Protecting your brand

The rise of social media has highlighted that businesses can no longer control their brand image as they once could. These days, social media can have a massive effect on the reputation of your brand. It’s important to stay on top of what’s being said and done, and plan accordingly.

By working on creating an effective and relevant strategy that coincides with your brand guidelines and what your audiences expect from your business, you’ll be able to use social media to your advantage and enjoy the many benefits that come with an effective social media presence.

For more suggestions on how to incorporate social media into your marketing strategy, download our social media marketing guide and follow us on Twitter for updates from Peppermint HQ.