Social Media Relevancy
Think about a company like Buzzfeed, to them, social media is as relevant as the air we breathe. Don’t believe me? Do a quick Facebook search on all of the channels that Buzzfeed currently hosts.
As a social news channel, it makes since that Buzzfeed has a strong social media presence with dozens of pages, but what about some of your other favorite brands that don’t exist solely online? Maybe you’re really into wearing Nike shoes, volunteering for Habitat for Humanity or flying on Southwest Airlines. Now-a-days, it’s highly uncommon for a brand to not have a social page whether they’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. These pages allow consumers to participate in a two-way dialogue, gather free content and reach out to brands in real time. So how does a brand build their social media empire and what impact does this have on the organization?
Tips for Success and Influence
The success of a company’s social media channels can be examined through Kaplan and Haenlein’s five points about being social.
- Be active
- When publishing content be sure that it is fresh and engaging. It’s important to participate in conversation with your customers and actively engage.
- Be interesting
- Don’t post boring content. Find out what your customers are interested in and create content around what they enjoy to increase engagement.
- Be humble
- Don’t automatically assume you know how to use a new platform, you could quickly make your business look foolish. Take the necessary time and steps to learn how to properly participate on an unfamiliar platform.
- Be unprofessional
- There’s no need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars producing social media content. Try to blend in with other social content and just go with the flow, make sure your posts are friendly.
- Be honest
- Don’t post fake content or create fake accounts to boost your page interactions. Dishonesty will get you banned from social media sites and your brand will lose credibility.
The way a brand portrays itself on social media carries over into the everyday life of the organization by setting the tone. Typically, the organizations social media will reflect the culture of the company, as does Buzzfeed’s. Based on how a brand adopts and communicates these five points, the values are reflected in the organization as well. Also, employees are often encouraged to interact with a company’s social media and share the content as well, influencing the organizational tone with employees.
Success in Action
Buzzfeed makes the social media world seem like a breeze, but what about a for company from one of the world’s most dreaded industries – insurance. Despite the uptight vibe that insurance companies still have a tendency to give off, they too are working to adapt into the go with the flow world of social media.
Recently my company, Security First Insurance, has been working to adopt a more active/interesting/unprofessional approach to social media. Instead of pushing a product like dog liability and placing a CTA for obtaining the insurance, we used a cute gif of a puppy and a home hack for dog hair. Who doesn’t love a good puppy video?
We’re trying to relate to consumers and gain a presence with brand awareness rather than make sales. Working in Florida home insurance, social media can get crazy after a hurricane with consumers upset about their claims. This is when honesty and humbleness come into play. It’s important to have that two-way communication with consumers that lets them know we’re there for them:
Despite being part of such a boring industry, in order to have a successful social presence it’s important to practice Kaplan’s five points on being social. Work in the insurance industry and want some additional tips? Check out this article by Ryan Hanley on the future of social media for insurance!
Organizational Application: Stay Relevant
Strategic social media incorporating the key tactics of being active, interesting, humble, unprofessional and honest makes an organization more relatable and humanizes the brand. This in turn can mean greater brand awareness, the ability to organically generate leads and the opportunity to build relationships with consumers. Without participation in social media, brands lose a lot of credibility. Kaplan and Haenlein’s theory builds trust with consumers and gives a human feel to a brand.