Harvey Morton
Harvey Morton, Founder of Harvey Morton Digital

Member Article

The dos and don’ts of social media in 2021

2020 has offered opportunities for social media savvy businesses to make a massive impact on their audience. Social media was always going to be big, but in recent years it has exploded into an essential portal for businesses and with all of us socially distanced, marketers needed to be creative.

Digital expert Harvey Morton of HarveyMorton.Digital provides his thoughts on the highs and lows of social media in 2020 – and how businesses can make 2021 one of the most successful years yet amidst challenging times.

**What you should be doing **

  • Get creative. If you need an example of an innovative campaign, look no further than KFC. The #KFCAdminisBored was a competition to guess the Admin’s favourite music. Not only did it promise a £10 voucher to the person who tweeted the right band with the hashtag, but it made people smile. It is the sort of thing we might do if we were bored at work. The genius of the marketing is that the customer spreads your brand voluntarily, and you have created a personal connection with your audience – we particularly like the reference to “silly Billys.”

  • Know your target market. One company that does this well is Nando’s. They frequently use bands and reference fresher events they are participating in. They know who loves fried chicken!

  • Engage with the people who comment. The power of social media is the community you create. If people comment on your posts, then respond! Tesco Mobile are brilliant at this. Even when people are complaining, the response from the company is enough to soften the most hardened heart.

  • Be consistent in your tone and approach. It is easy, especially when you are a small company, to be ad hoc in your use of social media. If you look at the major brands, their social media runs on themes, or campaigns. These companies also post at the same time each week and without fail. If you want to create a community, you will need to do the same. And while you want your tone to be slightly informal, you shouldn’t go too far with this and begin to look unprofessional.

  • Share quality content. If there is content that would be genuinely helpful to your clients, then share it, making sure the shared content is relevant to your company goals. And, offer a look behind the scenes. People buy from people, not organisations. If you can put an approachable face on your company, people will begin to trust you and your brand.

**What you shouldn’t be doing **

  • Avoid stepping all over cultural sensitivities. 2020 was not only marked by the pandemic but also a rise in racial consciousness. During Black History Month, Pure Gym in Luton published a workout on social media called “12 years a slave.” The most cringeworthy quote from the Facebook post was “Slavery was hard, and so is this.” I appreciate this is a pure facepalm moment and you wouldn’t be this insensitive. However, when taking on political topics or topics about identity, make sure you do not inadvertently offend anyone. Check out how Sainsbury’s managed the equality issue for a way to do such campaigns brilliantly

  • Change your passwords. HMV learnt this lesson harder than anyone. Back in 2013, an upset employee left the company and proceeded to use their social media accounts to express her their anger at HMV itself for a ‘mass firing’ of 60 employees. Her mission? To show the power of social media – well she did that!.

  • Moderation is everything. Don’t overdo your posting. You do not want to be that company that feels like it is spamming its followers. While you should post consistently, there is really only need to post once or maybe twice a day at most.

  • Avoid those spammy competition shares and likes. While fun competitions and unconventional engagement tactics can be creative, they can also feel unsubtle and intrusive. People feel bad for sharing the content and having it appear on their friends’ feeds, no matter how much they want the prize. Guilt is never a good emotion to connect to your brand.

  • Remember your manners! There are some social niceties on social media that your customers will expect you to adhere to. One of the most obvious is timing. You need to avoid sending out a tweet during a minute’s silence, for instance.

Your takeaway? Social media is vital, it is enormous and it could really help your business. Get it right, and you will have a community of followers but get it wrong, and you will be the talk of the internet – for all the wrong reasons. No pressure!

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Katherine Adams .

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