Why brands are getting it wrong on social media



You’ve created a Facebook page, but have you created a brand?

So you’ve created a Facebook page and opened up a Twitter account. You’re posting there daily but not growing your customers. What’s wrong? Not what you expected? In the world of social media, it is important to realise that pleasing your customers isn’t the only key. You’ve got to become a brand that they can relate to. Staying true to yourself was never more crucial. Here’s our little list of why brands are getting it wrong on social media that will help you figure out your marketing strategies:

  • Presenting a Confused Message:
    Whether it is a celebrity, a diet soda or a mattress, every thing has to be “branded” in the world of social media. You need to come up with a persona that your customers can relate to and associate with. Coke and Pepsi may both be cold drinks but both of them are easily distinguishable from the way they advertise themselves and reach out to their customers.
    Before you create a Facebook or Twitter page, map out what your brand stands for and what it means to both you and the market. Sketch out your brand as a person. Is it a girl or a boy? What kind of clothes would he wear? How would he talk? What would people think about him? This will help you reach out to your customers more personally.
  • Writing for the Masses:
    When you’re posting updates on social media, it can be hard to come up with something that would please three billion people at once. Try and break that chunk down and focus on one reader. Keep that image in your mind as you write. Use “we” and “you” more than “I”.
    Webby Award’s newsletter called Netted is a brilliant example of personal communication. The text is direct, attention grabbing and completely conversational. It is as if a person is talking out of the computer.
  • Ignoring the Insights:
    Now that you have kicked off your pages, you need to monitor them. Keep track of what people are liking and commenting on, then analyse why that specific post got their attention. Also gauge the cultural diversity on your Page. If there are more people from a specific country, you can create a local page for that country alone. You can also post updates in different languages to cater to your audience’s needs.
    Singer Shakira’s official Facebook page communicates with her fans all over the world, but owing to the fact that a large number of her fans speak Spanish, the page manager frequently posts messages in her native language.
  • Talking at the Customers:
    Many brands make the mistake of talking at the customer, not to them. If your customers are responding to your posts, you need to track those responses and if necessary, you need to talk back. If you’ve received an unfavourable reply, don’t ignore the comment in the hope that no one will notice. The best brands always reply to their customers and more often than not, you can turn a negative comment into a positive one if you know how to build customer relations.
    Disney’s Facebook page is an excellent example of a brand that keeps up with its growing fan base. Being a universally known company, Disney’s posts generate comments and likes in the thousands. That doesn’t stop the brand from personally stepping in and thanking a fan or helping them out when needed.
  • Sidelining the Trends:
    Fans always appreciate the brands that they can relate to. How do you make a relatable brand? By staying in touch with what your fans are talking about and joining the conversation. If your fans are celebrating the fourth of July, join in the fireworks. If they’re saddened by a tragic incident, show your concern. Be real and as Google’s motto goes “Don’t Be Evil”.
    Oreo is one great example of a brand that makes the most of trending topics. During the black out at NFL, Oreo tweeted out an ad canvassing that you can still have Oreo’s in the dark. The picture got retweeted around the world by NFL and Oreo fans alike who admired their favourite snack’s spontaneous response to real-life events.

According to Nielson’s social media report 2012, 47% of social media users engage in social media care and 1 in 3 users prefer to contact brands using social media rather than the telephone. When you consider that 92% of consumers have switched business at least once in the last year because of poor customer service, the evidence is clear: most companies need to improve their efforts.

Once you have figured out who you are and who you’re talking to, things get simpler and much more fun. You need to be enthusiastic about social media and enjoy the opportunity of interacting with the world online. Your customers are your critics and soon enough, their reviews will start pouring in in the form of insights. Keep the boat sailing by joining conversations, celebrating cultural diversity and trying to reach out to that one person in the market, instead of millions.

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