Social media is a great marketing tool allowing organizations to reach audiences and showcase company culture and what they have to offer. However, many companies aren’t seeing the success on social media they’d like.
In fact, a recent survey by HubSpot found that there is a 35 to 65 percent difference between consumers who expect a brand to be on social media and consumers who actually follow a brand on social media. Audiences are there, and they expect companies to be as well.
What’s the problem?
1. Companies aren’t where audiences want them to be.
Different audiences are looking for different companies on different platforms, with the majority expecting companies to be present on Facebook. HubSpot found 84 percent of respondents expect companies to be on Facebook, while 64 percent expect them to be on Twitter. The third runner up may come as a surprise, though. It wasn’t Google, Instagram or Pinterest -- it was YouTube.
When creating accounts, consider who the audience is and what social media they will be using.
2. Audiences don’t know the account exists.
It’s not enough to simply have accounts on social-media platforms. Update them regularly, post new content and interact with individuals.
Additionally, the HubSpot survey found audiences expect organizations to be present on three or four platforms. This is important for companies to note: don’t be on every social-media platform out there. In fact, it’s better to be present on just a few platforms and use them well rather than to be on all platforms with sub-par offerings.
3. There’s no reason for audiences to follow.
What reason do audiences have to follow a company on social media? Are they entertained? Can they get questions answered? Can they see things others can’t? Use social media to make followers feel personally involved with the brand.
For example, Zappos gives Facebook fans access to exclusive content, and couture fashion line Oscar de la Renta gave Instagram followers a sneak peak of its fall 2013 items. T-Mobile uses social media to answer questions from consumers.
Consider what audiences are looking for in social media and give them a reason to connect with the company.
4. Content is the same on all platforms.
It’s pretty obvious when companies are copying and pasting the same content to multiple social-media platforms. However, what works well for Facebook may not translate well to Twitter, and audiences can usually tell when everything is the same. It’s fine to have overlap, and branding should be consistent, but gear posts for specific sites.
5. The account is too robotic.
If content is too promotional, it can be off-putting to fans. Companies should have a voice that comes across as real, human and relatable. The best part of social media is the ability to have fun with it.
Pizza Hut, for example, uses its Twitter account to make jokes, start conversations and interact with users. They retweet their followers and keep things from being too formal with tweets such as, “Attention: You’re reading a very expensive tweet crafted to tell you about our all-new menu.” By poking fun at itself, the company's team keeps the account promotional while still being human.
By Zack Cutler, Founder at The Cutler Group