There is a number of different ways in which different companies handle their social media presence. Depending on the size of the company, the setup and the social media channels they use, there is more or less danger that their company message will get diluted and perhaps even chaotic if they are not careful.
The goal of this article is to investigate why it is a bad thing if a company’s message gets muddled and how companies can avoid this happening to them.
It Confuses Customers
Brands are built around a limited amount of ideas and ideologies, really. Volvo is built on the idea of top-notch construction and unprecedented safety. Coca Cola is built on the ideas of the American dream (made global) and polar bears enjoying a Coke around Christmas time.
Introducing too many facets to a band can only cause confusion among the customers, both existing ones and those who are thinking of becoming customers.
Let’s imagine that Volvo for some reason allowed its social media message to get erratic by starting to emphasize something that has nothing to do with their brand history (like speed of their vehicles, for example), their customers would be confused; there can be no doubt about that. People who might have considered getting a big family Volvo would now start to reconsider. This kind of customer-chasing almost never works.
When people are confused, they tend to veer to products and brands that do not cause the same befuddlement. They go with something they understand and that has a very clear message for them.
Brand Feels Weak
Imagine if you walked into a law firm in search for a legal representative for your new company. You walk in and the receptionist has his or her feet on their desk, enjoying a cocktail at 10 a.m. You tell them who you are, they have no idea. Someone finally comes to get you, but they are also not sure how to behave. The next person you meet is super serious and efficient, perhaps pathologically so. Still, you get a feeling they are not quite sure what they are supposed to do for you.
Would you hire them?
When a company does not have a unison social media message, this is the kind of an impression you will project to your followers and everyone who even considers interacting with you online.
You start coming across as a rudderless ship, a company that cannot take care of something as simple as their social media presence.
You Can Get in Trouble
There have been innumerable cases where companies got in all kinds of troubles because one of their employees decided to try to be funny in ways that have no place on a corporate social media account.
Sometimes their employees will try to get in on a current trend and they will fail miserably, perhaps even insulting a whole bunch of people. Other times, employees will vent some of their personal frustrations on corporate social media accounts, causing much uproar aimed at the company and not the individual. Sometimes we see cases that cannot be explained rationally no matter how you slice it, like when MTV Australia fired off a spectacularly racist Tweet during the 2016 Golden Globes.
There have been cases in which companies lost entire segments of their customer base because their employees fired off Tweets and Facebook status updates that went against everything these companies stood for traditionally.
How to Prevent this
The good news is that this can be prevented.
For one, your company needs to adopt a policy that will govern all of its social media efforts. Under the provisions of this policy, your company’s social media presence will be maintained and overseen by a single person who will have the final say and who will keep a close eye on what is happening.
Moreover, you will want to have a policy that will govern how your customers can use their personal social media accounts in respect to their employment.
Your company’s values and the overall brand message needs to be clearly conveyed to the employees who will contribute to its social media channels and they need to go through training that will make sure they understand this fully.
More than anything else, you will want to promote as much communication as you can when it comes to the handling of your social media accounts. If you happen to use an intranet solution of some kind (more info on the most modern ones), this will be extremely easy, as all of the key players will have constantly open lines of communication. If you do not use company intranet, you will want to find other ways to promote constant communication.
It is essential that everyone understands what can and what should never be done with company’s social media accounts. If there are any aspects of it that have to be cleared up, they have to be cleared up sooner than later.