Ever visit a Facebook page that looks identical to both the company’s Twitter page and website? Did you then wonder if the pages were updated by a feed or robot instead of a person? Unfortunately, as companies work to do more with the same or even less resources, automating social media updates is becoming increasingly common. While the technique can save organizations both time and money, it sacrifices five key components of an effective social media program:
Unfortunately, as convenient as populating social media through newsfeeds may be, it compromises one of the most significant values social media offers organizations – engagement. Without this key element, it is challenging for companies to build community and generate a viral buzz.
It’s difficult to build a reciprocal relationship with a robot or other automaton. Showing an appropriate amount of personality and addressing individuals that interact with a brand through social media helps to build relationships between consumers and a brand. This one-to-one communication quality is lost in a newsfeed.
How do you get feedback from consumers? By asking questions and providing forums to share opinions. While you may garner an occasional retweet for a newsfeed-style update, you won’t get the level of interaction that you would from a Facebook poll, a blog post that engages the community or even a ‘retweet for a chance to win’ program.
Social media enables companies to have a two-way conversation with key audiences. Talking at someone through a newsfeed doesn’t lay the groundwork for a back-and-forth dialogue.
When a company reaches the point in its social media program where community members are generating wall posts, sharing photos and starting their own discussions about a brand, it lessens the company’s content generation burden. It also shows that audiences are invested in the online community. When this key component is lacking, social media can take on a brochure-like persona. By avoiding the newsfeed approach to social media, companies can build communities where users feel compelled to share their own content.
When planning and implementing a social media program, it is important to consider what resources can be allocated to maintaining the program and identify techniques for engaging and building relationships with key audiences. If your existing social media program is based on a newsfeed model, evaluate what resources you can allocate to developing a more interactive program and how you can leverage social media tools to drive key audiences to action.