Graduates from our #DMCollective, the support community created by Digital Mums exclusively for graduates, have recently launched the #GoWithThePro Campaign. They are calling on all businesses to see the true value of social media. After all social media channels are part of any businesses’ digital shopfront and often the first place potential customers come across a brand.
#GoWithThePro encourages businesses to put social media channels in the hands of an expert. In this guest blog we hear from one of the campaign founders, Cathy Wassell on why social media should be left to the professionals…
Three years ago I was going through the agonies of being made redundant from my position as Marketing Manager for a large international retailer. Having worked for the same company for 19 years, this was not an unemotional process. When I finally moved on I decided to set up on my own - a scary prospect, no matter how confident – or not - you are in your own abilities.
So it was a blessing when, after floundering around in the world of freelancing for a while, I discovered Digital Mums and enrolled on their Associate Programme. On completing the course, like all graduates I went on to join the #DMCollective, the Digital Mums alumni community.
Amongst our number are so many incredibly talented women from marketing, PR, journalism and beyond. Many have set up their own social media consultancies and most work flexibly around family life. There is virtually no marketing question which can’t be answered by one of us! Every day our community supports each other in their working lives. While there are many success stories of clients won there are also stories of contracts not being renewed, in favour of giving a job to a junior member of staff or intern.
Social media particularly suffers from the notion that because a millennial has grown up with social media they automatically ‘get it’. But as we know as a result of our six months of training, being comfortable with posting on Twitter is not remotely the same as having the professional experience to craft a marketing strategy or manage a crisis.
We love to celebrate examples of great social media in the #DMCollective. Innocent’s quick one-liners, Yorkshire Tea’s unrelenting loyalty to tea and the epic Aldi v Lidl battle. With so many social media managers amongst us, there’s not much that goes on in the major platforms without us knowing about it. And sadly we do spot social media accounts or other creative work being handled badly from time to time.
So why should you #GoWithThePro?
There are thankfully many businesses that do get the value of social media - it’s a digital shop window after all. Giving such a responsibility to someone with no training is a real risk. Social media channels are often the first place a potential customer will visit online. Naturally, marketing is a valuable part of what social media offers but it affects a business on so many other levels too.
A brand’s social media platforms are often the first port of call for a customer service query. In fact, from a consumer perspective, twice as many use social media to get a service rather than to learn more about a brand. A weak or unresponsive approach can be damaging. Social media has given more power to the consumer to be heard.
There have been numerous instances lately where brands have failed to react at all, or not quickly enough to customer interaction which could be damaging. Crisp brand, Walkers had to fend off a PR disaster when their #WalkersWave campaign was derailed by trolls, and even the US Dept. of Education got into hot water when they posted a tweet including a spelling mistake, then made another mistake in the apology. While mistakes will inevitably happen, social media accounts need to be running at optimum level 99% of the time, with a cohesive marketing strategy in place. And when the worst happens, businesses must react quickly to correct it.
Likewise brands can use a solid marketing and servicing strategy to deliver satisfied customers and loyal brand followers. A good social media manager will use ‘social listening’ to get a handle on your ideal customers’ social habits and adapt platforms to those findings.
We’d like to encourage brands to reflect on the importance of their social media and to put it into professional hands. It’s time to #GoWithThePro. Of course a Digital Mum isn’t the only option, but the fact that we’ve had six months of expert training solely in social media marketing is definitely a bonus!