Social media for large companies is now just as common as HR departments.
Unless you're Apple, you're on social media. Even the tech giant, which eschewed traditional social media marketing for light years by internet standards, now publishes regularly across multiple accounts and channels.
Customers take it for granted that large companies are on social media. The larger the company, the higher the expectations that teams will be ready to answer questions, put out fires, deliver award-winning creatives, and promote company value. And frankly, most of those expectations are fair.
Discover how large companies are using social media to meet – and, in many cases, exceed – customer expectations.
Bonus: Get a free social media strategy template to plan your own strategy quickly and easily. Also use it to track the results and present the plan to your boss, teammates and clients.
Social media for companies is a company in itself.
A large multinational company often has multiple social channels in different regions and languages. Depending on the industry, companies may also have separate accounts for support, marketing, different industries, departments, and even recruitment.
Just type in Disney in any social platform search bar and see how many results come up.
These operations include large teams, multiple agencies, legal oversight, and enterprise-scale management tools such as: B. Hootsuite Enterprise. To ensure consistent brand voice and news across all platforms, companies rely on social media style guidelines, social media guidelines, and social media guidelines.
Here are some of the main goals for large businesses on social media:
Increase brand awareness
Large B2C (business to consumer) companies can already benefit from brand name recognition. However, they can use social media to raise awareness of specific news, campaigns, product launches, and other initiatives.
For example, Norwegian Air used Facebook and Instagram ads to draw attention to certain flight routes in target regions.
For business-to-business (B2B) companies, social media can be a means of increasing brand visibility and soliciting solutions to potential partners and customers.
Connect with specific audiences
Global companies reach specific segments of the social media market through a variety of platforms and accounts.
Different platforms have different demographics. For example, to reach wealthy Chinese consumers, luxury brands were among the first to open WeChat business accounts. To reach out to the younger crowd, several big brands including Chipotle and Betty Crockers Fruit Gushers hopped on TikTok.
The segmentation also takes place within platforms. Many companies have separate accounts for different regions and audiences. Netflix offers both, with Twitter being specific to each market and several of its shows.
All of those looks Deleesa turned out to make me excited for her FINAL GLAM 😍 pic.twitter.com/2uJ4yW5eAv
– The Circle on Netflix (@CircleNetflix) May 1, 2021
Ad targeting is another well-known tactic that big brands use to reach the right audience.
Measure customer sentiment
Customer sentiment can move the needle in anything to do with product development, messaging, and even corporate values.
Direct customer feedback through polls and polls is one way to source – aside from naming competitions where we received a boat called Boaty McBoatface and a humpback whale called Mister Splashy Pants.
Athleta Community! We'd like to get your opinion on our upcoming spring designs. Your feedback will help inspire future styles. Share your opinion: https://t.co/vW6uGko2XE
– Athleta (@Athleta) May 4, 2021
Social media listening gives brands the opportunity to “read the room”, spot trends and better understand what is important to people. In 2014, IKEA opened a listening hub together with Brandwatch. "Listening and learning" has since been the first stage in its value chain.
Social listening also enables brands to show themselves when it matters most. People don't always mark brands when they talk about them. That's why big brands track keywords in addition to mentions.
Starbucks delivers! Simply download the Uber Eats app or visit https://t.co/FT9Kh0PvhK for availability.
– Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) January 31, 2021
Provide customer support
Customers seek support on the channels they use. According to a recent Harvard Business Review survey, simply reacting to people on social media can make a positive difference. In fact, the study found that customers who received any response from a brand rep were willing to spend more on the company in the future.
@ Zappo's customer service really is the best. I'm not sure I can imagine the circumstances I would be buying shoes elsewhere, provided they had what I wanted.
– Michael McCunney (@MMcCunney) May 2, 2021
Increase traffic and sales
From social selling to social commerce, social channels are an important source of traffic and revenue for large companies.
Social platforms continue to offer features that make shopping easier, from social stores to live stream broadcasts. Livestream purchases generated $ 449.5 million in sales in a single day in China on July 1, 2020.
Louis Vuitton is betting everything on online marketing in China to get closer to younger consumers. The brand is …
Posted by Nanjing Marketing Group on Monday Mar 30th, 2020
Social is also a channel where large companies reward customers with small insights, exclusive offers, promo codes, and early access.
Share corporate communications
Product recalls, technical glitches, responses to social issues, discontinuation announcements. Social media has become a primary channel for large companies to send communications and PR messages.
Peloton and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission announce a voluntary recall of Peloton's Tread + and Tread products. Further information and participation in the recall can be found on our # recall page https://t.co/I0h2yrSEyX pic.twitter.com/9zp2QMyH9x
– Peloton (@onepeloton) May 5, 2021
Recruit top professionals
Social recruiting now goes way beyond LinkedIn's job posting. The corporate image is more important than ever for young professionals. It is an uphill battle for large companies to project a positive image. According to a recent McKinsey survey, the majority of Gen Zers believe that large companies are less ethical than small companies.
A 2020 survey by Glassdoor found that three out of four job seekers are looking for employers with a diverse workforce. Spurred on by the Black Lives Matter movement, posts on diversity, culture and workplace issues have become more common on social media.
Build brand communities
While brand communities existed long before social media. Now, Facebook groups, personal accounts, and even branded hashtags offer the ability to carry branded clubs, lifestyles and relationships into online spaces.
Several studies show that participating in communities can increase brand loyalty. However, it is difficult to build trust and consumer confidence on your own, which is why influencer marketing also plays a huge role in corporate social media strategies.
What can big companies learn from small companies?
"Small business" has almost become synonymous with "good business". Do you need evidence? In a recent earnings call, Facebook executives stressed their work with small businesses no less than 23 times. Large companies? Not as much.
People are helping small businesses faster, especially in the face of the pandemic. Most mom and pop stores operate on long-established customer service traditions that large corporations too often forget. Here are some best practices megacorps should keep in mind.
Build customer relationships
Everyone appreciates the local barista who remembers their coffee order. Big brands can offer comparable levels of service on social media. Read your message history or notes before replying to a customer. For example, it is helpful to know that this is the fourth time someone has had a problem with a service or is a member of a loyalty program.
Humanize your brand
It's easier to connect with a neighbor than with a faceless company. From marketing to recruiting, people increasingly want to see the faces behind the brand.
This also applies to customer service. A study by Harvard Business Review found that even something as small as signing a message with a customer service representative's initials improves customer perception.
Lead with values
From counter-donation glasses to ethical-sourced menus, the signs of ethics for small businesses are often evident. Global companies have to work a little harder to share company values.
Recent research from the University of Toronto found that people judge a company based on its size. At the same time, consumers are increasingly aiming to align purchasing decisions with values. Therefore, it is important that the positions of large corporations are clear, open and honest.
"Make sure the story you tell about your brand is appropriate for your company and takes into account your customers' expectations," recommends Pankaj Aggarwal, marketing professor at T University and co-author of the report.
Give something back to the community
People shop locally to support their community. Multinational corporations, on the other hand, have a reputation for being exploitative. Almost half of the global companies assessed in the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark 2020 do not comply with the human rights standards of the United Nations.
Social media is a place for companies that give back to communities they benefit from in order to separate themselves from those who don't. Global brands should share how they invest in the consumer community and / or the communities in which they operate.
Some big brands consistently deserve top marks in the social field, from RedBull to Oreo, Lululemon to Nike and KLM to KFC. The following big brands should also be on your radar.
This private outdoor clothing brand doesn't make coats to sell coats. And it's not being marketed for marketing, as shown by the boycott of Facebook ads last year.
"Action is the value that truly underpins all of the work we do and certainly all of the marketing work we do," said Alex Weller, the brand's marketing director at MAD // Fest 2020. Instead of calls to action, Patagonia is showing the measures who are taking it and others to protect the planet through long-form content and panoramic visuals.
With this approach, Patagonia values its vests more than moisture-wicking fleece wind flaps ever could. Instead of clothing, marketing sells membership in a club that promotes environmental protection.
The central theses
- Do not market for marketing purposes. Support your message on purpose.
- Build communities around common values.
Sephora has always been all-in on social media. Last year, the beauty brand partnered with Instagram to open a social business that integrates loyalty programs.
Last year, allegations of racist bias and lack of diversity criticism prompted Sephora to launch an investigation and develop a plan of action. The report, released in November, deals directly with marketing: "Limited racial diversity among marketing, merchandise, and retail workers results in exclusive treatment."
The company promised to ratify this inequality through the development of marketing guidelines, with an emphasis on representation and diversity in marketing and products. It also plans to build on its 15% pledge by supporting and nurturing black-owned businesses, including through the Accelerate Bootcamp, which is 100% BIPOC this year.
Promoting diversity will also be part of this year's edition of #SephoraSquad, an in-house developer program that harnesses and harnesses the power of influencer marketing. The “Influencer Incubator”, first introduced in 2019, brings “unique, unfiltered storytellers” directly under the wing of the company.
It has already reaped some of the benefits of inclusive marketing. The company's Color Under the Lights campaign resulted in an 8% increase in purchase intent and brand preference.
The central theses:
- Address your own mistakes and criticism directly
- Inclusive marketing has far-reaching advantages
Some see Spotify as a standalone social channel, and that's not too far off. In addition to adding a Stories feature to the app last year, the company also acquired Locker Room to compete with Clubhouse in the live audio space.
Social media is more than a marketing channel for Spotify. It's built into the app. Unlike Apple Music, Spotify makes it easier for users to contact friends and artists on the platform. Artist profiles contain links to social channels. The platform's integration with Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Twitter and other websites is designed to make sharing and promoting music seamless.
Spotify meets people where they want to discover music. "For younger generations who grew up on social media, their music journey begins with social media, where they discover music," said Will Page, former chief economist at Spotify, in a recent Facebook study.
Another way Spotify excels in the social arena? This allows others to do social marketing for them. Tools like promo cards and initiatives like the Spotify Wrapped year-end campaign turn artists into influencers and listeners into brand ambassadors.
Spotify # Wrapped2020 is here: https://t.co/Ol1uqnR4R3
Did BTS make your list? 🎧 pic.twitter.com/XntAF62mMR
– BTS Charts (@btschartdata) December 2, 2020
The central theses
- Meet your audience where they are most receptive
- Give your community the tools they need to become an ambassador
Ben & Jerrys
Despite being a big business, this Vermont-based ice machine always had the feel of a local business, and its social media presence is no different.
Although Ben & Jerry is known for original, chunky flavors, the company's values are different from the competition. "Many years ago (Co-Founder) Ben (Cohen) realized that the strongest bond you could create with customers was a set of shared values," Christopher Miller, director of the company's global activism strategy, told Harvard Business Review . “We make great ice cream. But what drives loyalty and love for this brand are the things we believe in. "
In the social media, the company has a fixed position on public issues. The quick answers show that the pipeline between executives and social managers is short. There is little point in having messages cleaned up by overzealous PR teams. Nor do they read like greenwashing or slacktivism. It is also crucial that the B Corp certified brand goes the way.
During the polarization, the Ben & Jerry approach is a calculated risk. “All companies are collections of people with values. It is a force that is always there, "says CEO Matthew McCarthy in the same HBR interview. "I believe that in a world of hyper-transparency, if you do not make your values public, you will increasingly endanger your company and your brand."
The central theses
- Be transparent. People value honesty.
- Run the run. Because marketing should be supported by measures.
If you blink you are going to be missing out on some internet trends, especially the ones that happen on TikTok. Ocean Spray had no official TikTok presence when Nathan Apodaca posted the now famous clip of his skateboarding commute with cran raspberry juice in hand. Despite the 90-year-old beverage brand's absence from the platform, the video was on their digital team's radar within days.
Instead of missing out on the opportunity, Ocean Spray rolled out its viral moment. "We did not undertake a full marketing model or evaluation," Christina Ferzli, head of Global Corporate Affairs and Communication at Ocean Spray, told Entrepreneur. "We were just trying very quickly to join the conversation."
In a short time, the company's CEO Tom Hayes stepped onto the app to recreate the meme. Out of gratitude, the company surprised Apodaca with a truckload of cran raspberry juice and a truck to replace its broken car.
Did we just become best friends? @mickfleetwood @ 420doggface208
♬ Dreams (2004 Remaster) – Fleetwood Mac
The central theses:
- Social listening enables brands to quickly identify viral moments
- By buying in management, brands can take advantage of social opportunities
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