Social media best practices for big brands

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Social media best practices for big brands

  1. 1. Tips to improve your brand’s social media presenceShare this eBook
  2. 2. SET YOUR METRICSThis eBook is full of tips and best practices that will help you build social media campaigns forlarge brands. A mantra I keep at my desk is, “a plan without a goal is a wish”. You must havein place a formal online marketing plan, with a clear goal for each step of the process. ThiseBook is not meant to help you with the step-by-step execution of your social mediacampaigns, but rather it equips you with the tools you need to support the process youalready have in place. Best PracticeOne best practice for launching and managing a social media campaign is to draw up aweekly social media schedule and then follow it. In order to avoid inconsistency, every tweetand post should be planned in advance. This does not mean that you upload all of your postsand tweets through HooteSuite, and then “set it and forget it”. You must continue to engage inconversations as they happen. Hot Tip! Facebook posts should never be automated. When using services like HooteSuite to post to Facebook you lose the “share “ capabilities. Note without the share button you will not be able to measure how many fans shared your post with their friends. 2
  3. 3. KNOW YOUR BRAND’S SOCIAL STATUSFigure out your story in each social market. The story will not be the same through all portals.Often times Big Brands fail to succeed in social media because they convey the samemessage through all of their sites. Even worse, some just duplicate their site content on theirsocial sites without adding any additional value. Best PracticeTake the time to become aware of your identity and service your customers as they are askingto be serviced. That knowledge will also be crucial in determining how you’ll talk to people,what your tone will be, how far you’ll go, and what you are (or are not) comfortable doing andsharing. Hot Tip! Its important to strip away corporate, technical and/or buzz words that often annoy and turn people away. 3
  4. 4. PUBLISH A LIBRARY OF INFORMATION Giving customers valuable information makes your company’s product benefits real. Your self-hosted forums and articles should answer questions that are closely related to your products without overselling. Through frequent exposure to your quality content, customers will come to trust your brand as a thought leader within your industry, and you will be top of mind when they are ready to purchase a product. This is especially important for brands with a high price point or long selling cycle (i.e. two to four years). Best PracticeLarge brands need to have a hub on their website that feeds into the whole content machine ofsocial media. Companies like Ford and DELL are doing this well (social.ford.com anddell.com/social). These brands are ensuring that no matter what network comes along they areready for it. This also ensures that branding efforts are not lost if the social media outlet ceasesto exist. Hot Tip! A bank, for example, can have a dedicated page which holds answers to questions about managing credit or better business loans. As conversations occur in social media, the bank is quick to respond with links to content that has already been generated in their information library. 4
  5. 5. GEOTARGETING AND LANGUAGE DETECTIONThrough Facebook’s language detection and Geotargeting, it is much simpler for bigbrands to reach non-English speaking customers.BENEFITS FOR THE BRAND Inform fans of events in their locations. You do not want to give New Yorkers information about events in California. Congratulate fans on local celebrations. National holidays, such as Independence Days, differ in each country – and are a nice way to get your fans’ attention. Do A/B testing. Launch slightly different offers in a few states or cities. Then see which of the posts performs best – and repeat the best practices globally. Manage posting frequency. You can easily annoy your fans when posting too often. With Geotargeting, you can target your local updates only to the fans who are interested in them. Hot Tip! When NPR shared links to KPLU stories on its Facebook page — only visible to people in the Seattle area — the station’s website got record traffic. Read the full story 5
  6. 6. UNDERSTANDING EDGERANKFacebook has a filter called EdgeRank that determines what goes into a fan’s News feed. It’sbased on three algorithms: affinity, rate and time decay.Affinity: Measures the users‘ relationship with an object in the news feed. Basically thatmeans the person liked, commented and shared things from the page.Weight: Based on the type of post photos and videos have more weight than a text post does.Time Decay: Amount of time since item was posted. As time goes by, the value of showing itto people in the news feed decays. Hot Tip! A website outside of Facebook called Edge Rank Checker (EdgeRankChecker.com) lets you check what is being shown to your fans. It also shows you which type of posts are shown more. 6
  7. 7. Best Practice10 steps for optimal EdgeRank1. Be consistent2. Be direct3. Time your post to get the most shares4. Engage with fans5. Use photos6. Use videos7. Post interesting and relevant information8. Offer specials9. Use sponsored stories10. Post directly on your Facebook page Proprietary and Confidential 7
  8. 8. ENGAGE GENUINELYAs a major brand your job is to listen by creating a platform for people to talkopenly and engage with you. The general public does not care how youre organized, butinstead judges you based on your behavior (past and present) and the impact and value thatyour products and services provide to them. Best PracticeFor every 10-15 valuable messages, you earn the right to include one messagethat promotes your brand. When you genuinely connect withyour customers through social media, they will remember you when they have a need foryour product. Hot Tip! Brands like SkyMall use Foursquare to provide great tips for travelers. These tips are generated by the SkyMall staff. In one case, they advised their fans to ask for a spoon at an airport ice cream shop as it was not provided. This is genuine engagement. 8
  9. 9. MISSED BRANDING OPPORTUNITIESMost social media platforms include an about us page with multiple fields for brands topersonalize their company’s information. It’s surprising how many large reputable brandsleave these areas blank. Your company information, logo, and any other links or images onyour profile help to capture a potential customer’s interest in your business. If your profile ishalf complete it reflects poorly on your company. Best PracticeWhen adding company information to any social site make sure you direct them to thewebsite that best meets their needs. If you use twitter to answer customer related issuesalways include your customer service phone number and email in the description andbackground design. Hot Tip! Make it a habit to change your Facebook cover photo once a month. Each time you change this image your fans are updated with the change. Images generate more engagement than text posts. 9
  10. 10. RESPONSE IS TIMELYIf you experience bad publicity, waiting too long to respond can result in further disaster.Taking the time to craft a perfect corporate response with layers of bureaucratic approvals willonly cause more damage to your brand’s social reputation. Best PracticeDont delete anything unless its obscene, profane or mentions personal information. Instead,respond publicly, saying that youre going to solve the problem privately. This approach easesthe problem, takes it private, but it tells the world thats watching that you care.Youre talking to everyone else that might be a customer or might be a prospect. Hot Tip! Sometimes members of your community will come to your defense. These are your brand ambassadors. Yes this whole process takes time and effort but remember your competition is listening. They are eager to sway the positive sentiment from your brand to theirs. 10
  11. 11. ASSESS YOUR SUCCESS Below are some key factors to measure your social media success Rankings have increased based on traffic and links Social media users are actually engaging with your content You increased awareness about a product that led to sales Best PracticeGive your social media efforts about 2-3 months to stabilize before you really start trying todecide if things are working for you. If you start evaluating any earlier than that, all you’llhave to go on is your number of Twitter followers or Facebook fans. Hot Tip! Big brands with great engagement on Facebook have 2% of their fans talking about them. #of people talking about you / # of fans = % of engagement. Pay close attention to the content your fans share. When a post is shared your fans are letting you know this is of interest to all of their fans. You have now broadened your reach. 11
  12. 12. CONTACT USAs you can see, many factors play part in achieving social media success.Most large brands hire agencies to help them execute their social mediaefforts. The agency helps keep the brand up to date with industry news,changes and best practices. With over ten years of expertise, Inceptor cantake your social media efforts to the next level. We will customize a strategiccampaign, monitor your platforms, analyze and co-write your current contentcalendar, and deliver measurable results. Contact us today for an evaluation ofyour social media efforts. About the author: Ana Raynes is a social media specialist at Inceptor. She leads the social media team in developing content like this eBook. Her role includes strategic planning for clients’ social media campaigns, developing blogger relationships and identifying news, trends and best practices within social media. 12
  13. 13. About InceptorWhat really makes Inceptor® different isn’t about us. It’s about you.When you become an Inceptor client, you aren’t just hiring a vendor. Ourteam becomes personally invested in your success, providing thecustomized strategies, open communications and responsive service thatwill allow you to reach your business goals. Our active, hands-on andintegrated approach to Pay Per Click (PPC), Search Engine Optimization(SEO), Comparison Shopping Engine (CSE), and Social Media programscan lead you to higher ROI, increased online visibility and growth ofrevenue.The Inceptor team practices SEM at a level of expertise and success thatfew others have achieved. If your current agency just isnt cutting it or youneed help expanding your in-house efforts, talk to us. Call 800-307-6709 oremail us at contactus@inceptor.com today. visit our site Proprietary and Confidential 13

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