How brands can overcome fear on social media

Social media marketing is pretty much a given part of any digital marketing strategy at this point, but some industries are further along in their adoption of it than others. Often fear is what holds many brands back from getting everything they can out of social, so we decided to take a closer look at what those most common fears are and how to overcome them. So brands, here’s how you can overcome fear on social media.

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Fear of the unknown

Industries that have been slower to adopt social might fear it based on the stereotypes around it (only something The Kids use, etc) as well as the bigger brand PR fail moments that have made it into the larger news cycle. The best way to combat this particular fear is to do research: Once you know who your audience is and where they spend their time, you know where you need to be spending your time as well. You’ll also know how your audience is using specific platforms, which should inform your own strategy. Look to how competitors are using it as well to give you even more ideas for your approach.

Hiring an experienced social media manager and making them an integrated part of your marketing teams and larger company goals can also help alleviate this fear, as well as writing in-depth style guides that cover social protocol. Finally having a measurement system in place will show what’s working and what’s not as a social program progresses, leaving fewer mysteries to ponder.

Fear of a loss of control

For smaller brands or those used to managing every aspect of a brand’s communication, giving up some of that control to a social team can be especially scary. And then there’s social media as a whole: Once you’re out there, you can no longer control the conversation around your brand, right?

Well we hate to be the bearers of bad news, but: The conversation around your brand is already happening on social, whether or not you’re an active part of it. It’s definitely better to be an active part of it. Not so you can control it- that’s impossible- but so you can build trust to call on should you ever need it from your social media fans and followers.

Another way to overcome this fear? Hire someone you trust- or move someone you trust- into the social role and give them the freedom to work within established brand guidelines. That’s what your style guide and crisis comms documents are for, after all.

Fear that something will go wrong

Spoiler alert: Something will go wrong. Whether it’s a typo in a tweet, the wrong image posted to Instagram or something a little more catastrophic, something at some point will go wrong with your social media strategy. Social is, after all, managed by human beings and we are unfortunately all fallible.

How do you alleviate this particular fear? Have a comprehensive crisis comms plan in place that covers social media in detail and that’s related to your brand voice and values. This way when anything happens your team will be equipped to handle it swiftly and professionally. (And even in good humor if the occasion calls for it.)

You might also consider doing a mock drill or two with your social teams so everyone is familiar with the procedure in different crisis comms situations, down to who is responsible for which steps, including approval of any content that’s posted. This can save a lot of time and panic error in the future.

Fear the audience will ignore or reject you

It is possible that you will throw a social media party and few will come. This is why it’s important to thoroughly understand your audience before you start posting. Not only where they like to spend their time and how they talk to each other there, but what they want from your brand in that space. How can you provide value? This is always the most important question you should ask about your brand presence in any social space, followed by: Can you be entertaining?

Answering these questions- and having a way to measure your efforts- will go a long way toward making you feel more comfortable in your brand’s social efforts.

Let us know if you’d like to see all the ways comprehensive social analytics can help alleviate all of these fears.

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