Is bad social worse than no social?

Successful brands never log off social media networks and have a consistent strategy around customer engagement in a digital sphere, say marketers

Using social media poorly can do more damage to a brand than not using it at all, according to marketers on a panel held by hosting and colocation firm, UKFast.

Critical to an effective social media presence is being available to communicate with customers at all hours, the panellists said during the event at the company's office in Manchester.

“If you don’t respond straight away, you will lose custom[ers],” said Kate Cargill, sales and marketing manager at the Hard Rock Café.

UKFast CEO, Lawrence Jones, agreed 24/7 social presence is a must.“If we were to log off, we would not be able to provide the great customer care that we pride ourselves on,” he said.

Companies that do not proactively monitor social media reveal their customer service flaws for all to see, said Heather Baker, managing director for digital agency, TopLine Communications.

“Social media is exposing gaps in customer service – legacy brands that have always got away with poor customer service are still trying to do that, but the way social media is going it is going to cause them to struggle to keep it up,” she said.

Why CMOs can't ignore social media governance
BBC Worldwide gives structure to social media objectives
Companies still not being strategic when it comes to social media

Kate Joynes-Burgess, head of digital at public relations firm Weber Shandwick, said brands must never neglect social media as a channel.

“You are so conspicuous by your absence on social media,” she said. “Even if you’re managing customer service though different channels you have to report back to the community that you are sorting problems out.”

Businesses should devote resources to social media to meet the task, said James Dempster, managing director at marketing and PR agency, Cobb Healthcare.

“Social media encourages people who don’t like ‘face to face’ to give instant feedback, but you can’t afford to switch off from it,” he said.

To determine how best to focus social media resources, companies should study their customers, said Nick Edell, head of digital studio at Hill & Knowlton.

“I did some research for a client recently, and found the majority of their Facebook posts happened between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.,” he said. “They were targeting an age group of between 14 and 18, so at that time the majority of those people would either be in school or in bed. Unsurprisingly, their social media had very low engagement rates.”

Companies should show as much care on social media as they would on other customer channels, said Leanne Forshaw-Jones, managing director of PR consultancy LFJPR.

“There is a fear within brands, that have had their own model of customer service for so long, about moving it online,” she said.

“But if you simplify it and say the formula is still the same, the relationship and outcome is the same but you’re dealing with it in a different way, they’ll soon realise they need to invest in a customer service team that works purely on social media.”

“Companies are covering their ears and thinking the conversion just isn’t happening. They should embrace it – it’s better to be there, using it and to be in control of it.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia Signup to CMO’s new email newsletter to receive your weekly dose of targeted content for the modern marketing chief.

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

The hidden cost of organisation silos

How do you design and deliver exceptional customer experience in an organisation that still behaves in functional silos?

Graham Winter

Australian psychologist and author

Three killer strategies for data-driven audience targeting

Audience targeting is becoming an increasingly sophisticated art through data. Here, we look at three ways you can drive better engagement through different types of data assets and sources.

Michael Bird

CEO, Social Garden

Artificial intelligence, machine learning and the science of customer engagement

There is no let up for today’s CMO who needs to be the master of an ever-increasing variety of trades. Digital changed the game years ago, and now the CMO must be a skilled publisher, technologist and data analyst.

Yes. But on this issue there seems to be concensus between the fringe and the majority. Here is the industry peak body singing from the...

Paul Smith

CMO interview: Marketing the wool off a sheep’s back

Read more

Social media has become common ground where brands and customers meet and greet and due to its increasing popularity users becomes demand...

Alex Martin

Marketers struggle to provide an enriching and engaging experience

Read more

is this a joke?

andre veerhuis

Ticketek: Modern marketing strategy is about treating people as people

Read more

can you provide Top 10 public relations agencies in Australia

Ethan437

6 ways marketers are using technology in content marketing

Read more

Very true about start-ups changing the mentality of marketing. Ultimately, being quick, and adaptive is a great way to get ahead.

Estia

Are startups disrupting the traditional business model?

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in