I was reading a wonderful article on Social Media Today today (not redundant because the name of the site is Social Media Today…sheesh) about how social media strategies are necessarily different for every company.
As a Social Media Strategist this isn’t really something new to me but I suspect that there are a lot of companies out there considering jumping into social media who do not have a crystal clear understanding of what is involved.
A company like Ford is going to have a dedicated team of professionals who scour the web and post relevant, useful information, contests, etc. These people sit at a desk all day and do nothing but social media for Ford. Top earners in large, US cities like San Francisco make around $90k/year. (or should according to Social Media Strategist salary surveys) Not a bad take for playing on the net all day.
Large, multi-national companies can afford this sort of saturation of social media. Their strategies are well-written and everyone in the company has to buy into the action plan. Going off-grid on a personal social media sites could mean someone loses their job. i.e. If you work for Ford and go on and on about your awesome new Volvo on your personal Facebook page chances are you’re going to get a more-than-stern talking to by HR and an ad in Craigslist to sell that car.
On the flip side, medium and smaller companies rely on their employees to engage in social media to build the brand. It’s these companies that require a finely tuned social media strategy. It’s so important that everyone is on the same page because the branding of the company becomes the face of the company. If even one of your faces is nasty and mean, no one will want to do business with you.
These smaller companies have to remember that 1 negative or even flippant comment is worth 10 positive ones to the consumer. It really only takes one person saying your company is crappola to send doubt shooting through all your customers heads.
So, how do you avoid ruining your brand when its out there for everyone to comment on and discuss?
Umm, A GREAT SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY! that’s how.
Even if you’re considering, as a small – medium sized company, adding a social media manager to the team, you need to have some serious professional help in developing the road map that manager must follow and promote to the rest of the staff.
Unless you’re willing to shell out $100k/year for someone to create the strategy and administer your social media, you need to get a pro on task BEFORE you jump in.