Many factors come into consideration when a company or organization chooses to enter the social media marketing territory. Social media marketing is very beneficial for companies to increase their brand awareness and image to its stakeholders as well as to increase their lead generation numbers. However, companies should be aware of some essential elements that require dedication and effort to have a successful social media marketing strategy that is prepared to handle issues that social media can bring to a business.
When it comes to reputation, companies must have a public relations plan to maintain their brand image, reputation, and awareness. A public relations plan will address and resolve issues that can come with being involved with social media networking (Gilliland, 2016). Some aspects involve:
- To handle bad reviews.
- To respond to negative customer feedback.
- To handle employee’s public comments.
- To establish a company’s social media policies.
- To handle a company’s public crisis of any sort.
Content Consistency and Engagement
Obviously, many companies would like to promote, sell and advertise their products and services on social media as much as possible. However, this method is not the most appropriate for a social media platform, and content must contain a great strategy, consistency, and engagement. Content planning requires effort and time invested (Gilliland, 2016). Some elements of an effective content strategy are:
- To plan and create audience-centered content.
- To create an appropriate schedule for posting.
- To respond to comments and questions from the audience.
- To monitor brand’s name mentions on social media channels and respond to mentions accordingly.
- To respond to private messages from the audience and customers.
Measuring Efforts for Financial Decisions
Therefore, all the effort put into social media marketing from companies will have no value if their marketing efforts are not aligned with goals, are not measured, and are not used for making decisions (Hootsuite, 2014). Once a social media marketing plan is in action, companies must dedicate part of their marketing efforts for some essential elements:
- To measure analytics metrics and results.
- To adjust strategies according to results from metrics.
- To decide on a financial budget for the marketing campaign.
The United Airlines Story
Once upon a time, on April 7 of 2017, United Airlines asked passengers to give up their seats for their employees for financial compensation. United Airlines asked four passengers to leave the plane, but when one of the passengers refused to do it then the company decided to remove this passenger forcibly, and another passenger caught the event on video.
Finally, the CEO decided to release an apology note; however, the letter sounded dismissive of the real problem, and it caused the public to become even angrier at the entire situation.As an example, this situation shows that not handling a brand’s image appropriately have hard consequences. Also, it shows that an online apology must be carefully written to make sure all issues are addressed and accepted by the public (SEMrush Blog, 2017).
Social Media for Businesses
In conclusion, companies spend an enormous amount of money and effort to build their image online, and this reputation can will dissolve in a blink of an eye if the essential elements of social media marketing are not addressed. Social media channels are excellent platforms for businesses to be close to their audience; however, it takes effort and constant monitoring of a social media marketing plan for it to be successful.
Gilliland, Nikki. (Jun. 7, 2016.). The four biggest challenges facing social media strategists. Econsultancy.
Hootsuite (Nov. 4, 2014.). 7 Social Media Challenges And Business Opportunities For Social Media Managers. Hootsuite Social Media Management.
SEMrush Blog (Jun. 8, 2017.). What We Can Learn From the Biggest Social Media Management Nightmares of 2017. SEMrush Blog.