The scrutiny that most business marketing communications receive before they goes out to the public doesn’t seem to be viewed as important for social media. Certainly 90% of it doesn’t require executive control; but which 90%?
Social media for business is sometimes unimportant, and sometimes critical
When your company puts out a press release, it’s critiqued at every level before being sent out to the press. Advertising is the same – the radio, TV and print ads are all reviewed very carefully before release. But what about the hundreds of Tweets you put out every week? Do they undergo the same scrutiny? Of course not (unless you’re in pharma).
Most companies arrive at this kind of “triage” naturally, without really discussing it. They intuitively understand that not all communications are critical. But the danger is in dividing things up by media, especially in placing social media too low in importance.
Twitter and Facebook may seem ephemeral because they’re one-to-one and digital, but giving up on all scrutiny of social media communications for your business is truly dangerous. Imagine a customer calls your company with a complaint. Does that communication undergo any scrutiny from upper management? If that same complaint comes in via your Facebook fanpage, do you have a system in place to direct the communication up to higher management? Do the people who manage your social media know what to do if advice comes in that could truly make your product or service better?
Certainly 90% of what we Tweet and post on Facebook isn’t earth shattering. Much of it is simply an ongoing drum beat about our companies and people. But it’s that other 10% of communications that happens about us that’s so critical; some of it good, some of it bad. Every bit of the communications about your business in social media should be followed and a certain amount of it addressed directly.
One of our clients discovered that one angry past customer had set up a hate page on Facebook about them. They delayed; they ignored; they spoke to lawyers, and it just went on and on. Any Google search of that company today, even 9 months later, finds the client’s page #1 and the hate page #3 on the results. This could be solved very easily, but they’re not paying attention to it. We could have pushed that hate page down to page 2 or 3 within a few months.
Your business executives must keep an eye on social media communications
Smaller companies can keep their eye on social media communications, but it becomes much more difficult when companies are larger. Then the corporate chain of command can prove difficult. Who owns an angry customer on a Facebook fan page? Who writes the replies and tries to contain the damage?
Train the employees who manage your social media how to recognize an opportunity to deepen a one-to-one relationship, solve a problem, etc. Social media for business is an opportunity for you to have a much closer relationship with your clients, customers and prospects, but only if you’re right on top of it.