4 Uses for Social Media

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Social media programs typically fall into four categories: brand building, customer care, promotion  and smiley noise.

Brand Building requires that a one actually has a brand plan (brand idea and three proof planks). So long as you’re creating and sharing content that is on-idea and embodies one of the planks, you are making brand deposits — caring about what your customers’ care about and at what you are great.

Customer Care is all about listening.  But this listening has created a cottage industry of kvetchers who have been rewarded for using social to air grievances, as I did this week when tweeting that my Nokia 928 has had to be returned 7 times due to a faulty ear piece.  The fact is, customer care is an important part of social when properly handled.  It also provides metric for the c-suite. And if a company uses it as part of a CRM program all the better.

Promotion is the top reason customers unfollow brands in social media. Data suggests 70-80 percent cite “too much marketing” as why they ban brands on Twitter or Facebook.  Again, many companies are conditioning the market to look to social for deals, just as they sometime reward kvetchers. Promotion is an important part of marketing,. It builds trial, helps hit slowed sales goals and creates rewards. But using social to fire hose freebies and to-fers is not a good lone use of the medium.

Smiley Noise is just what it sounds like.  People think it’s okay on social, because, well, it’s social. But smiley noise would never make it as an ad. It’s noise built pass along. Or to create likes. Or to fill the social air. Here’s some smile noise from Penn Medicine. 

 penn medicine tweet

Social media isn’t a static thing. It needs to live and breathe. It needs to be current and friendly but also important. Social doesn’t get the strategic oversight it should or the respect it should. But it will, oh it will.  Companies with real brand plans are the companies doing it best.  Those are the companies doing all the other stuff best, as well. It pays to have a plan. Peace!