3 Social Media Marketing Musts that Go Beyond Day-to-Day Management

Brand awareness, brand loyalty, direct communication … these are just some of the many benefits of social media, a marketing channel that brands cannot afford to ignore in this day and age. However, through our vast experience in social media management for some of the world’s leading brands, we can confidently share that successful social media management extends way past the traditional content production and community management. Day-to-day management needs to be complimented with higher level MUSTS that protect the ultimate goal of a brand’s social media: to elevate the brand.

Below are three items that are often overlooked, but companies should not do without:

A Social Media Policy
As social media engagement continues to grow, and your brand becomes more visible in such channels, a strong policy could provide a guideline and set parameters that ensure brand protection.

Consider the potential impacts of social media – an employee misrepresenting the brand and the message going viral, leaking confidential data, or even sharing an outdated logo.

An effective social media policy will protect you against all of these concerns by:

– Letting your employees know what is acceptable to post and what isn’t – as well as consequences
– Establishing the do’s and don’ts of the brand’s presence on social media
– Establishing how general brand guidelines are to be adopted on social channels (e.g. messaging on social media needs to be friendlier but still following brand voice)
– Establishing copyright guidelines

Make sure your brand is set for success as you continue exposing it to the masses digitally.

A Crisis Communications Plan
A social media crisis could manifest in many different ways: through an employee post, through a consumer post, or even through a brand post. A crisis communications plan can allow you to have an action plan in place to make sure you manage the situation effectively – in the best interest of the brand.

A crisis communications plan should be proactive and foresee potential issues, but also provide direction on how to use social listening, to ensure that the company is not tone deaf (which could lead to a crisis in and of itself).

With a plan in place, you will know how to react, when to react, message guidelines, when/how to take a communication offline, how to monitor it, and more items that are incredibly necessary – particularly because social media allows for the rapid sharing of messages, where a post can increasingly reach more people and go viral in a very short period of time.

An Integrated Strategy
It’s important to remember that social media is used as a way to elevate your brand. This means that what is done on social media should be directly aligned with your overall brand direction. It is of no use to share content on social media that does not relate to the higher-level strategy, existing programs, or optimize the campaigns and initiatives that are taking place off social media.
Utilize social media as an opportunity to maximize on the goals of the brand, and to create a stronger community around existing brand initiatives.

Though an integrated strategy seems obvious – its implementation is often ignored. There are many ways for this to fall through the cracks – often because brands hire various agencies to hire different areas of their marketing mix (e.g. one social media agency, one public relations agency, etc.), and the integration often gets missed. The best way to manage through this is to ensure that all parties involved are aware of the brand’s high-level objectives as well as its day-to-day marketing operations.

You don’t want to be the brand that launches an in-store contest and when consumers go to learn more on social media, are unable to find any post about it. On the contrary, you want to have a brand where consumers are so engaged on social media, that they go to the store to participate.
An integrated strategy is essential to a successful social media program. Keep this in mind next time you are in the process of content production.