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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

More Videos

I found decent information in your article. I am impressed with how nicely you described this subject, It is a gainful article for us. Th...

Daniel Hughes

What 1800 Flowers is doing to create a consistent customer communications experience

Read more

Extremely informative. One should definitely go through the blog in order to know different aspects of the Retail Business and retail Tec...

Sheetal Kamble

SAP retail chief: Why more retailers need to harness data differently

Read more

It's actually a nice and helpful piece of info. I am satisfied that you shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us informed ...

FIO Homes

How a brand facelift and content strategy turned real estate software, Rockend, around

Read more

I find this very strange. The Coles store i shop in still has Flouro lights? T though this would have been the 1st thing they would have ...

Brad

Coles launches new sustainability initiative

Read more

Well, the conversion can be increased by just using marketing, but in general if you are considering an example with Magento, then it is ...

Bob

How Remedy is using digital marketing and commerce to drive conversion

Read more

Blog Posts

Why conflict can be good for your brand

Conflict is essentially a clash. When between two people, it’s just about always a clash of views or opinions. And when it comes to this type of conflict, more than the misaligned views themselves, what we typically hate the most is our physiological response.

Kathy Benson

Chief client officer, Ipsos

Brand storytelling lessons from Singapore’s iconic Fullerton hotel

In early 2020, I had the pleasure of staying at the newly opened Fullerton Hotel in Sydney. It was on this trip I first became aware of the Fullerton’s commitment to brand storytelling.

Gabrielle Dolan

Business storytelling leader

You’re doing it wrong: Emotion doesn’t mean emotional

If you’ve been around advertising long enough, you’ve probably seen (or written) a slide which says: “They won’t remember what you say, they’ll remember how you made them feel.” But it’s wrong. Our understanding of how emotion is used in advertising has been ill informed and poorly applied.

Zac Martin

Senior planner, Ogilvy Melbourne

Sign in