Whenever I find a brand I really like, I look them up on Twitter. Connecting with a brand on Twitter is the best way to find out about new deals, products and the overall style of the company.
However, no matter how much I love a brand, it pains me when they do (or don’t do) certain things on Twitter. The following are five social media habits brands should break if they want to keep their followers. These may sound like no-brainers, but you’d be surprised how many brands don’t know about these social media no-nos.
1. Connecting Facebook and Twitter.
This social media tactic is lazy and it is most definitely not effective for several reasons. In the first place, if you are cross posting all of your content, why in the world would anyone follow you on both platforms? Secondly, and more importantly, you should not be posting the same types of things on Facebook as you are on Twitter. If you’re interested, you can see some of the differences in uses here.
2. Scheduling Tweets way in advance, or using automated replies without checking up on them.
Hootsuite and other scheduling apps are incredibly useful tools for anyone doing digital marketing for a brand. However, we live in a world where circumstances change in an instant. For example, a man opened fire on a Colorado movie theater. A couple of hours later, an account associated with the NRA tweeted, “Good morning, shooters! Happy Friday! Weekend plans?” Obviously, the NRA received major backlash for this careless tweet. The same applies to automatic replies – you can’t expect what you say will be appropriate every time. Although time consuming, it will be worth it for you to check up on what you’ve scheduled.
3. Ignoring unhappy customers.
People can post whatever they want on social media. Remember the saying the customer is always right? It is true in every circumstance. Don’t ignore a negative post, apologize! If the customer is really offended and it’s within your budget, offer them a coupon or another solution to make it right. The offended customer may turn their opinion around and publicly announce how a company has treated them. Never miss an opportunity to turn a negative situation into a positive one.
4. Not communicating with other brands.
Sure, we may not want to draw attention to our rivals, but tagging other brands is a great way to spread your name even more. People will see your conversation and want to join in.
5. Not offering deals.
This depends from brand to brand but a great way to keep followers is to reward them! For example, the burger chain BurgerFi just opened on our BU campus and offered a free custard to anyone who instagramed their meal, tweeted or checked in at the new location. Word of the restaurant spread fast and BurgerFi continues to be packed – not an easy feat on a college campus that already has a few burger places.
As Boston University students, we are extremely lucky to have the opportunity to study abroad. From my experiences in London the past few months, I have learned how experiencing another culture is a valuable experience. As part of the London PR Internship Program, I have been fortunate to live in beautiful South Kensington and delve deeper into the PR field through classes and my internship with Sound Advice Group, which has been nothing short of fascinating.
Sound Advice Group works throughout the music business covering live events for the rich and famous, managing Irish pop-star Imelda May, and producing Cornbury Music Festival (which this year includes the likes of Kacey Musgraves and even Sporty Spice)!
With London’s many similarities to metropolitan America, I have found most PR principles to be easily applicable to British practice. Writing press releases, handling social media, working with advertisers, and networking all apply to PR in London, with a little twist. Although it is similar, there are still some key differences and selling points that make studying abroad worthwhile.
You become familiar with the work culture overseas. Since many PR agencies have overseas offices, often in London, it is vital to understand the nuances of British corporate culture to build effective communication. For example, it is not unheard of to hear office banter, gossip and jokes. Hierarchy is also not as strong in UK offices as it is in the US. Also, London is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world with nearly 30% of the population coming from outside the UK. There is no better way to genuinely understand other cultures than to live among them and see their way of life.
PR is much more business-oriented. In England, instead of PR being separated in communication schools, like BU’s structure, it is often taught in business schools as part of marketing. In fact, I learned about the foundations of Integrated Marketing Communications and PR’s purpose in the model from my PR core class professor whose background is solely in business and marketing.
International connections. PR is all about networking and building connections. You never know whom you may meet in London through your internship. Even though they may be living overseas, you can build off connections they have in the US or who knows, you may even decide to return to the UK for work one day. Do not close any doors; you never know when it could help you out!
A unique internship experience. Because BU’s internship program gives you a placement, they may offer you a company or agency that you may not have known about or considered before. Many people on the program, as well as myself, were placed at agencies that are not household names, but this does not mean that they are not unique hands-on learning opportunities. In my office I sit alongside my supervisor, the CEO, and I am always included in office discussions and decisions. Internship experience at smaller, lesser-known agencies can be beneficial to your growth as an aspiring PR professional since you are usually given more responsibilities. Also, what’s more unique than actually joining the London morning work commuters!