Deciding that all you need for a successful business is a social media presence is like deciding as long as there are a few bread floaters in your water, you don't need to eat food anymore. You need substance in your diet. Don't collapse because your marketing department is someone with a Twitter.
Quirky corporate social marketing is basically an attempt to get you to think of a multinational corporation the same way you think of your best friend's Twitter feed. What comes off as effortless, quick wit from your friend is a highly focus-grouped, tightly edited, management-approved marketing ploy from the corporation, often with thousands of dollars behind the operation. You might laugh at the corporate feed, but unlike your friend, the company is trying to monetize your reaction, which corrupts the connection. Regardless, if turning your social media presence into a stream of snark is an idea your marketing team is kicking around, squash that soon.
We appreciate the temptation though. Corporate social media feels like a no-win situation. It's easy to look like you're trying too hard, where you're constantly pleading with customers to talk to you like you're a person. It's also easy to become a generic bulletin board for a faceless corporation, which might be the only thing people hate more than gluten these days.
One solution here is to not do it, which is kind of a cop out. Similar to someone asking what the best way to get peanut butter out of their hair is and they're told not to get it in there in the first place. That might be true, but it's ultimately unhelpful.
Handling this technology is the same way businesses should handle everything else. Understand who your customer is and cater to them.
If you're a startup that wants to deliver handcrafted yarmulkes to Jewish cub scouts, your posts should focus on things that interest preteen Jewish boys who pay close attention to fine craftsmanship and camping. Finely woven headgear and Yiddish should be reliable topics.
If you're a logging company that doubles as a syrup producer in the great Canadian wilderness, focus on informative posts about your flannel clad, bearded lumberjacks who also know the perfect way to tap a maple tree. Throw up some landscape shots of work areas too.
In both cases, you've identified what's important to your customers and what will engage them without straying from your company's mission to provide high quality products to people who would get the most use out of them. In fact, you’re augmenting their experience by indulging in context rather than just blasting with self-promotions. Including Yiddish and landscape posts, while not explicitly related to your main product or service, are still honest inclusions in your feed because they're what you're dealing with on a daily basis.
Whether you’re creating a social strategy or just tweeting consistently to engage and build your SEO, stay on brand, authentic, and valuable. Don’t fall for the trends that don’t align, and don’t feel you’ve gotten a win if you’ve tricked someone into engaging; you’re only hurting your brand long-term for a short-term win.
So, if you find your logging company's social media team suddenly in a rap battle with a fast food chain, it's time to reevaluate your internet presence