Brand degradation is a threat that looms over most companies using social media. It’s a big, scary, real-time world out there with all kinds of opportunities for a brand to shoot itself in the foot.
Smart brands hire a Social Media team to maintain their brand consistency online utilizing detailed social media policies to guide them. These are the three basic elements of a social media team:
A social media team should always include the input of customer experience experts to ensure that any interaction a person has with your brand at any point is a positive one; whether in-store, on your website or in their newsfeed.
A good customer experience expert will streamline the way you engage with your audience through social media so your brand can make a consistent, favorable impression across the board. From the way a mobile app functions to the amount of tweets you post in a day, customer engagement should always occur through the same predetermined funnel to ensure consistency.
A COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT TEAM
While customer experience experts work on how things are mapped out, community managers are the ones policing engagement as it’s happening. Social networks are phenomenal platforms for sharing and engaging with your audience, but they also represent a 24/7 forum for dissatisfied customers, critics and general internet trolls to voice their opinions on your brand.
Most community managers know you can’t just delete an unsavory comment. In fact, it will reflect poorly on your brand if your audience catches you trying to sweep something under the rug. If it’s an honest piece of negative feedback, a good community manager will see it as an opportunity to respond promptly, reinforce the values of the brand, and potentially change the consumer’s perception. That’s why a community manager is such a valuable member of a social media team.
A new trend in brand degradation has gone above and beyond nasty comments. Companies using social media should stay vigilantly aware of any potential hackers or disgruntled employees who could compromise their presence. A password in the wrong hands is a dangerous thing. Just look at what happened earlier this year:
Preventing brand degradation within social media isn’t only about watching for haters. If you’ve hired help to create and maintain your social media presence, you need to make sure all content being posted is adhering to any visual or tonal guidelines that your brand has in place. Creating eye-catching, engaging content is great, but if it strays from the core sensibilities of your brand, you could be compromising people’s perception of it. Oreo probably wasn’t too thrilled when they made the Biggest Brand Fails of 2012 with this tweet:
A BRAND STEWARDSHIP TEAM
Any social media team worth its salt should also have a few “keepers of the brand” to ensure that all content going live looks and sounds exactly as it should.
From a visual standpoint, social media offers endless opportunities to strengthen your presence. Think of every background graphic, photo album or app icon as another way to communicate the look and feel of your brand. As more and more designers take advantage of these new graphical opportunities, other companies are ignoring them and running the risk of degrading their brand through their own inaction. Social media is not the place to look generic. Get inspired!
If you’d like to learn more about how to keep your brand strong in the social media space, we’d love to chat with you. We can provide you with your own 3-pronged social media team to cover every stage of your brand’s social experience; and we’re happy to jump in at any phase.