The social media has come to stay, that is why you see individuals across income levels, large, medium and small-scale organisations, as well as public figures and institutions scurrying to have a notable presence on popular networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Medium, to mention a few.
The fact that you took the time to read this is another strong indication of the importance ascribed to the new media these days. Business schools now dedicate modules to teaching it as part of the strategy for business success. Not to mention that 32-year-old Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, the largest network, is currently the 5th richest man in the world with an estimated worth of $56.0 billion.
In this age and time, to be without a social media presence is like living in the Dark Ages. That on its own has unsavoury implications for a public figure or prominent organisation, as it means unscrupulous fellows will create accounts in the name of such persons or entities and use such to defraud innocent people. In Australia alone, there were reported cases of $300million lost to social media scammers in 2016, with one person losing $1.6million out of that sum.
At TRW Consult, we recently did a survey for one of our clients, a major oil and gas corporation and discovered there were other accounts in the name and guise of this company, all with valid and up-to-date information on them meant to defraud innocent people who are either aiming to work for or do business with this organisation.
So, the focus of this article is not about the increasing fraudulent practices around social media. That is a discourse for another day. What I intend to dwell on are some of the bad practices business owners/managers make in deploying the new media networks for commercial success which ultimately result in frustrations and failures. Let’s look at them:
- Hiring IT experts to manage your social media accounts
When there were just issues around internet connectivity, hardware and software, then an IT guru would have offered more value to your online endeavours. But in this dispensation of social media, a content expert is what you need to run a successful brand campaign. Content in this regard refers to text, graphic, and audiovisual information which can be published on your accounts in daily or weekly frequency that will be of substance to your audience; thus positioning you in their consciousness as an expert or a provider of value in your field and keep them coming back for more. As the saying goes in the social media circle, content is king.
- Hiring anyone to manage your social media accounts
Next, to ramming a square peg into a round hole by deploying a software and hardware person to manage your brand, the worst damage you can do to your corporate brand is to hire just anyone to manage your corporate platforms because the person has a social media account of his/her own.
Managing corporate or individual brands on social media must be done strategically. It involves planning, trend analysis, research, reporting, and creative skills coupled with content development expertise to make a success of social media. The way you won’t approach anyone you see in the hospital to attend to your ailment is the same mindset you must deploy in handing over your most sensitive and easily accessible brand assets to anyone to handle because he/she is a graduate and has social media accounts.
To be concluded…
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Babatunde is the team lead at TRW Consult, a marketing communications agency in Nigeria and the United Kingdom that offers content deployment, digital presence, brand promotion and reputation management services to individuals, corporates and agencies.