How to approach social media: Guidelines for Brands

Nowadays, nearly everything out there is related to social media in one way or another. This is especially because smartphones are simply everywhere. And what do you do when you are bored? You go on ur phone and start surfing social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Image result for facebook icon                 Image result for instagram icon  Image result for twitter icon

Now, brands are constantly finding ways to try and connect with their customers. According to The Communications Council, brands are increasingly using social media to engage directly in interactive communication with customers. Social media provides the tools to have targeted conversations with customers who can directly drive advocacy and word of mouth on brands. However, not all brands succeed at using social media to the fullest potential. In fact, some might even mess up and make errors that are a big ‘no’ and instead may even drive consumers away. Below are 8 guidelines that The Communications Council have come up with:

  1. Start with a plan – crisis management. In case of any negative responses, a brand must be prepared to have a back-up plan to counter it.
  2. Be transparent. It is important to be open and honest when talking to customers, and not give false representations about yourself and your brand.
  3. Be accurate. If any post has been misrepresented and mistakes have been made, it is essential to get them corrected as soon as possible. If not, someone may save a snap of the error and use it against your brand.
  4. Be professional. Always be as professional as you can when replying consumers, and consider the opinions of others as well though you may think you are correct.
  5. Be fair and respectful. Always respect what others say about your brand, and be cautious when posting comments as they may seem insulting to others and be mindful of are the use of exaggeration, colourful language, derogatory remarks or characterizations.
  6. Be responsible. Always follow the terms, rules and regulations of whichever social media platform you are using to post your content on.
  7. Be smart. Keep in mind everything online is protected by copywright, and respect all laws and regulations in relation to privacy (Privacy Act 1988), spam (Spam Act 2003), and other applicable laws relevant to your client’s industry or products/services (e.g. financial disclosures) when publishing on social media.
  8. Be aware of confidentiality. Ensure that all material and content published is publicly available, and do not release any confidential information that might be dangerous to the brand once the public gets their hands on them.

By abiding by the above guidelines, your brand is set to start reaching out to customers via social media platforms without worry.

Launching your way into the internet – What you need to know about viral marketing

Viral marketing is something every marketer wishes to achieve, regardless whether it is a big or small company they are a part of. But, what exactly is it?

According to  Kaplan, A.M. & Haenlein, M. (2011), viral marketing is the electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) in which some form of marketing message related to a company, brand or product is transmitted in an exponentially growing way, often through the use of social media applications. WOM plays an essential part in triggering something to go viral. Below shows the relationship between the 2:

wom-and-digimktg

(source: Kaplan, A.M. & Haenlein, M. (2011). “Two hearts in three-quarter time: How to waltz the social media/viral marketing dance”. Business Horizons, 54, 253-263.)

The easiest way for WOM to spread is through social media. One marketing campaign that managed to successfully use viral marketing is by KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines). The staff made use of social media platforms such as Foursquare and Twitter to check out the profiles of the passengers’. They then surprised them with simple small gifts based on what the staff observed from their profiles. Even though this is such a simple act, but it really brought smiles and made the days of the lucky passengers. This process was done over a few weeks, and it generated more than a million impressions just from Twitter alone, and has resulted in the video going viral which greatly boosted the profile of KLM.

This shows how viral marketing can benefit one company if they are successful at pulling it off, just like how it has benefitted KLM.

However, not all viral marketing campaigns turn out successful. In fact some end up in a flop. Can you think of any campaigns that have failed miserably? Or even other campaigns that have turned out as well as KLM’s?