It was a combination of an editorial piece by Baratunde Thurston I read in Fast Company and a link a colleague and friend sent me in horror about the best 60 social media tools (how are there that many!) that got me thinking more about a company’s social media presence. I know there is not one “correct” answer, but Thurston makes a great point about how companies and organizations should be focusing more on making quality products and experiences and less on self-promotion and gimmicks on social media sites.
The conversation about social media is at almost every product kick-off we have. How should we integrate Facebook? Should we be Tweeting? Do we want to be on Pinterest? Just like design trends, a social media strategy is not one size fits all, and it does matter (among many other things) what you do, what you sell, and how you want others to see your brand. Now, I’m not talking about what to do with on your own personal Facebook page – that’s a whole other blog post. What I am referring to is the bigger picture for a company that wants to be noticed for the great work they are doing or great products they are creating.
Quality, not quantity, is what matters with social media. I’m not the expert on how much to tweet or post, but if you’re interested in that you may want to look at the studies Track Social did on both Twitter frequency and Facebook posting. What I’m focused on is the what. Does your post represent your brand appropriately or is it a complete 180 in tone and messaging? Is it relevant to what you do/sell/offer? Does it make your business seem knowledgeable or simply “trendy”? If your answers are fuzzy you may consider taking some time to develop more of a plan and make sure it aligns with the rest of your business and brand.
It doesn’t matter how many witty things you have to post on Twitter or how many Likes you get on your Facebook page, your product – whether it be an app, a website, or a service – needs to be the main voice of your brand, and social media should SUPPORT that, not carry it. That’s not to say you can’t post promotions or news elsewhere, it just means that social media should not be your first focus or strategy – the primary effort still needs to go toward your business and brand.
140 characters may get you retweets, but a solid product and service will get you customer loyalty.