9 common mistakes in corporate social media
At InSites Consulting we're doing quite some desk research for clients to evaluate their corporate approach in online conversations and social media, which we benchmark with initiatives of competitors in the industry.
Actually it's a bit sad to see how poor even large companies are doing at this stage. But we can help each other by sharing tips and best practices.
Based on our industry scans we’ve found these 9 common mistakes in corporate social media:
No central management:
Many companies have cluttered (local) initiatives which are not centrally managed. The result is a lack of consistency in terms of content, goals and brand image. I guess you agree companies/brands need to provide similar experiences across all touchpoints, 360Â°. The same goes in social media, synchronize your profiles.
Enjoy the silence. Modus inertia:
Lots of company accounts are just totally inactive. Very often latest ‘posts’ date from months, or even years ago. Just being present for the sake of being present is actually very dull, and doesn’t have any benefit whatsoever. You just look silly that way. Engage, please!
Talking heads, no dialogue:
Apart for the modus inertia profiles, many accounts are in old-school broadcasting mode. They use social media as a new way of reach. But these are not one-way channels, (notice the word ‘social’), it’s about conversations and dialogues. People are not connecting with logos, they are connecting with humans. And humans usually listen and talk back.
Way too rational:
Based on what we found, we see that companies too often just share boring rational information. People are quickly fed up with facts and figures. Again: people identify with humans and emotions…Show your company culture, put your employees in the spotlight, share funny stories,… Make it fun, show you are alive 🙂
Static, protected content:
Once in a while we found great company histories, nice pictures from behind the scenes, even great teambuilding movies,â€¦ Unfortunately, 99% of the available material is just static content on the corporate website, not shareable! Everything you do should be shareable. If you use video, let’s think in YouTube, Vimeo,… For pictures you can use Flickr,… If you build presentations, let’s think in Slideshare,â€¦ We all have great content, we just need to facilitate people in sharing it. The open platforms mentioned here are great enablers for that: be with your content at that place where people are and can interact with it.
Text text text:
Although some companies are sharing their visions, company history, evolutions,â€¦ they are basically presenting it in the most boring way possible. Please go beyond text, people are not taking the time anymore to read these long stories (like this one :))) all the time. Build an attractive story via your online conversations by making use of photo, video,â€¦ What would you like most? The web is a medium where quick content consumption prevails: making your information easily digestible will definitely increase its impact.
No channeling strategy:
Lots of companies are auto-posting content to their social media profiles. Each channel, being it Facebook, Twitter, Flickr,â€¦ has very specific qualities you can leverage. Don’t just use them to spread content, instead think about a good social media channeling strategy. People connecting with you on Facebook may have different expectations than people connecting with you on Twitter for example. Cater to different expectations, do it smart !
Lonely at the top:
It’s a pity to see that many large companies, with over thousands of employees, have very little connections in social media. Here’s the tip: communicate to all stakeholders where they can find you in social media. People need to be aware of your presence. Don’t forget we’re all lazy: don’t expect all people to search for you. Try to put links to your social media channels in all touchpoints (being it on you website, newsletter, offline communication,… just share it and ask people to join you!)
Not leveraging the power of employees
In many companies access to social networks is still denied. A shame, because that means your people cannot leverage conversations in their own jobs, and even more: they cannot help you in building the conversation.
Step 1: learn how to let go, please change the ‘access denied’ – mentality. Think about the opportunities.
Step 2: inform employees about your social initiatives so that they can get connected and help you in spreading the word. They will be more than happy to do so. (Don’t push them, just ask them)
These are our first findings. Maybe you can add even more? Thanks your help, let me know in the comments below!