I’m not nitpicking. But let’s talk about social media icons. We’re starting to see them on everything. Specifically the Twitter and Facebook icons. Just because we see them, doesn’t mean that those companies are “social”, that they are engaged, fully engaged or partly engaged. We can easily call it social media lip service, but when I checked the Twitter presence of some of the top 100 global brands according the Businessweek-engagement was little or none, and in a lot of cases, the brands didn’t even possess the Twitter handle.
For example, @Disney has over 140,000 followers and yet has only tweeted 210 times. I know it’s Disney and they might not have to care about Twitter, but that’s not the point. It’s 2011 and brands are going all in when it comes to social. Just look at this years Super Bowl Ads. This might be the year social takes the Super Bowl by storm.
Check out @Samsung 2500 followers and… a total of 8 tweets. Meanwhile they have over 200,000 fans on Facebook. Was this the strategy they were told or did they come up with this internally? Should I give them the benefit of the doubt in regards to when they launched their (new) social identity? Is it a work in progress? Take GAP, over 50,000 followers and yet a mere 400 or so tweets…
You’re probably saying it’s just Twitter, but for brands, Twitter makes more sense than it does for the casual user. It’s a better fit and it’s an opportunity.
With that said, I would like to say to brands, “Don’t be social because you have heard you need to be”. Yet we know that’s how some operate. Why not attach a strategy with some (not many) achievable decent KPI’s to your social initiatives? Weave your Twitter activity into your daily routine the way you check email dozens of times per day.
Hey Brands, don’t hoard social, own it. Yet I know major companies that either go out and do nothing with their Twitter presence or worse, squat on their Twitter handle so that others don’t it. For example. @Budwesier, @L’Oreal, @Heinz, @Colgate, @Chanel, @Wrigleys , @KFC, @Avon , @Adidas, @rolex , @Hermes, Tiffany, and ING, all get an F. Hello strategy? You might be thinking or actually they might think that they don’t need to bother with Twitter-Guess what? Twitter is free and Facebook is free and the barriers of entry and engagement are absurdly low.
What a lot of companies fail to realize is that we consumers will search for them, or they will eventually come up in search because of a question, a customer service issue, or because prospects want to see who they are. We will click on your social icons. Then we’ll come to our own conclusions. Search and social are not strange bedfellows. Your social results and personas will come up high in search and if you and your brand are coming up short, it’s an opportunity lost.And if you are there, don’t sleep walk through the chance to engage with your customers.
Social without a purpose is a waste. Brands who put the Twitter and Facebook icons on their site or on their marketing collateral with nothing to really show for it, is not very smart. Of course I also think having search results where a brand and its associated products does not come up on page one or position one is a major transgression, yet some major brands miss that opportunity as well. Positive search results are a win and always will be. Bad search results can be devastating.
Control the social aspects of your brand.