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Transform Your Online Presence – From Woeful To Wonderful

Many companies are afraid of social media…. some are afraid of being involved, some are afraid of not being involved. Which is worse?

Anyone who has seen the socialnomics video has probably been persuaded that social media is important for business, both B2B and B2C. Unfortunately some companies get caught up in a panic and jump in without having any strategy or plan of action in mind. This leads to problems.

There is little worse than a Facebook page that is unmonitored – fans clamouring for attention and none being given. The key is in the name – social media. You need to be involved with your audience – you wouldn’t go to a seminar, put on a slideshow and then ignore the audience would you? So why ignore them online?

If you’re lucky enough to have an interested audience who is willing to engage with you, then you need to appreciate them and respond to their queries and concerns. Ignoring questions on social platforms is far worse for your image than having no presence at all; no presence is not great, it shows you’re not in touch with the new way people are doing business, but having a presence and ignoring people shows you don’t care about them at all – a far worse message to send.

A Tale Of Transformation

There is a skincare brand that I am particularly fond of; it’s an English brand started by two women on the Isle of Wight back in 1995. The brand has always projected an image of integrity, quality and, despite their growth, friendliness and caring. In my experience their telephone customer service is second to none (half the time you feel like having a cup of tea and a chat with the customer service rep – they are that friendly). But for some reason when they branched into social media none of this translated.

They had a Facebook page and a Twitter account; the Twitter account had very little interaction and on Facebook they were largely ignoring their fans. It was all broadcasting and no engagement. On one particular day there was a backlash against a post the company had placed on Facebook. The backlash went on for hours and hours without any comment from the company. It was quite clear that they were not paying any attention.

The error of their ways was brought to their attention however, and one year later the brand’s online presence is unrecognisable from what it was. They are now engaging properly with their community and responding to queries and answering questions. They are actively checking Twitter to see who is talking about them and responding to people.

The company has now matched its virtual reputation with its real life reputation. No mean feat, but if one company can do it, everyone can.

Marketing Takeaway

Even if you jumped into social media without a plan and have let it flounder, it’s not too late. Grab the bull by the horns, draw up a proper plan of action and go all guns blazing for 2012. It’s not too late to be great online….

“Image from khz /Shutterstock.”

Sarah Ryan is an Online Marketing & Communications manager with 7 years experience. After being located in San Francisco for 2 years, Sarah returned to Dublin in early 2012.

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  • Hi Sarah, another takeaway for me is that social media is always an extension of the values and culture of the organisation. In your example, this business was already great at customer service but they just needed to carry that on to their online presence.  

  • Exactly Niall. Initially they didn’t match their online presence with their offline. However after making some concerted efforts over the last year, their online and offline brands are now harmonious.

  • @ @abf5574063f032e59728da16fc5aec64:disqus thank you thank you for this. I have just taken on the task of developing and implementing our company’s social media strategy and am mainling all the infomation i can get hold of. @ @nialldevitt:disqus Our brief, negative experience with attempting to outsource this without a strategy in place is a clear example of what you say about social media being an extension of the values and culture of our organisation.

  • You’re welcome Aileen. Glad you liked the article and good luck with the job. If you’re interested in more online marketing information you should check these guys out –> They’ve a great blog, plus lots of free webinars and ebooks. 

  • To be active socially online, or not! That indeed is the question Sarah. What a fantastic post! It really resonates with the need to be interactive, and talk to those who engage. Even with all the buzz about social media and engagement, interaction, etc. etc. it all leads to the same thing – connecting in a human way!

    Thanks for sharing what is a crucial message also – it is never too late! It has inspired me to build a strategy for 2012, thank you!

  • Thanks Elaine. Glad you enjoyed the post so much. Best of luck with the strategy for 2012!

  • A live chat will be very easy one when we know that how we can handle that.

  • It’s terrific that people are taking the initiative, and though that is
    to be encouraged, it is of little value to be an unthinking cheerleader. People
    are very surprised that I interview them before even giving them a quote, but I
    won’t support them in a game they can’t possibly win. Happily, for some, they
    can use the X Factor contestant model, in that they can go off, rectify the
    shortcomings and try again 🙂 Thanks Lorna.
    ~ Helen

  • Kate

    Very simple and clear guidelines here – pointing out the need to do your homework!

  • Your company is on an in place monitor or on its way down. Creating upgrades to create your company better is a aware option. Not only must you stability your time and energy but select the right place of company that will create the greatest effect.

  • Thought provoking article.

    As you say, recession is the time when many great and new ideas and businesses emerge – as it also gets rid of the weaker ideas and the less efficient ones. 

    The key for me would be: do you have a great, unique and clearly differentiated business offer/ service/ product that no-one else is doing that a big enough group of people want and need. Differentiation and unique of offer is key at this time. These are the ideas that will ensure the rest of the business needs will follow..

  • Thanks Nicolas 🙂 ~ Helen

  • Making upgrades to create your company better is a aware option. Not only must you stability your time but select the right place of company that will create the greatest effect.

  • Absolutely Aileen, couldn’t agree more – sharing your vision with partners, team-members and other key individuals in your organisation ensures you’re driving your business forward and in the right direction!

  • Cheers for the comment ! My mum already had feedback for me – she said I forgot to mention those born int he year of the Snake are great at generating wealth

  • Aww . not easy for most I know but always refreshing to understand how another culture interprets what could be a taboo in our culture. Snakes were always significant to my family linein Java as the Black cobra is our totem animal

  • Thanks for the Great comment! it does tie in with Snakey Smarts 2 – that of mking Careful assessment of what went wrong and plan steadfast progress in the year ahead using your insight. And Yes this involves positivity – you are so right – brush off the old bad vibes and move on!

  • Janine Gilmour

    Hi Elish – very interesting way to frame your advice. I find snakes uber creepy but even so, I though your advice was sage and timely!

  • Thank you ! It is tempting to brush away Traditional wisdom as superstition but I have always felt that if you look deep enough it is possible to unravel the insight hidden in between the myth and the experience

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