Social media has been changing the marketing playbook and the companies not on board with social media are getting left behind – and feeling it on their profit and loss report. Social media has proven to provide companies with powerful tools and speed, which is why we see companies advertising their Facebook and Twitter accounts on almost every piece of advertising they put out. “Follow us on Facebook!” is a common sight on company advertising and their websites.
Creating a Social Media Buzz
Social media is great when you need to CREATE a buzz! Small businesses can generate quite a buzz about their products and services through social media, which can quickly go viral. However, a company has to be able to stand behind the buzz and back it up. Otherwise, the tide can turn back the other way and stifle a company – and quickly. It is important to communicate a promise, be readily able to back it up, and continually improve upon that promise. Blendtec posted a video on Facebook showing the founder, Tom Dickenson, blending a rake handle, golf balls, Silly Putty, and even an iPad. He communicated that his blender was genuinely awesome and the best on the market. He basically said it will blend, crush, and pulverize anything you put in it and he backed that claim up with rock-solid proof, which everyone with an internet connection and a computer could see. The video quickly went viral and sales of their blender went up 700%.
Oh no. WHAT happened?
Some major companies have used social media to KILL the buzz – as an aid in crisis management. Toyota established a team specifically to operate social media outlets to quell rumors with factual information during their sudden-acceleration recall crisis. Rumors on the web can become venomous and run rampant quickly, but Toyota’s social media presence during the crisis helped Toyota’s sales stay strong while the recall was at full speed, to the point that Camry and Corolla sales stayed on top of the list of passenger car sales.
This ain’t your mama’s marketing campaign
One last rule: social media conversations are typically somewhat informal and unstructured. Coming across as a “company stiff” in social media outlets can hurt your business. Get to know the rules and culture of each social media outlet and follow them. Better yet, hire a social media pro and let them help your business take off. In today’s market, it is money that is well spent and which will come back to you many times over.