Nowadays, it’s unusual to find a brand without a social media presence as the merits of having one include increasing your exposure, interacting with customers on a different level and attracting new customers. However, that’s only when sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are used correctly. Conversely, when used incorrectly, social media sites have the potential to ruin a brand’s reputation, or sour public relations.

The new infographic from Colonial Life explains the dos and don’ts of using social media for business. Tips include ensuring that the accounts are managed so as to avoid missing important interactions, monitoring conversations surrounding the brand and being aware of your target audience.

It’s also important to remember that social media is another platform you can use to showcase your brand personality and company values. This will allow users to get a better insight into what the brand stands for and can help garner trust and loyalty. Remembering that sites like Twitter are a two-way street is also vital, as followers or customers will expect a degree of interaction, with many people using the site as a means of communicating complaints or queries. Brands such as Buzzfeed, L’Oréal and Waterstones are all prime examples of businesses getting social media right, with each bringing a unique quality to their feeds.

However, McDonald’s and IHOP are both examples of brands who have seen the negative side of social media, with the former experiencing ‘hashtag hijacking’ when their #McDstories hashtag being overrun by negative stories about the brand. IHOP, on the other hand, experienced a backlash when they posted a political tweet, which they later claimed was down to being hacked. With this in mind, being aware of how your hashtag or campaign could come across or backfire and avoiding talking politics are both recommended.

Being mindful of what content you’re putting out or reposting is also extremely important, as discovered by US Airways who accidentally tweeted an X-rated image to a customer, which ended up going viral.

In summary, social media can do brands a world of good and can be a fun platform to show the lighter side of a brand. However, safeguarding against any mishaps is pivotal. By following the suggestions in this infographic, it’s possible for your business to get the most from social media and reap the rewards of increased exposure, improved communication and a stronger brand identity.

See the infographic on the importance of social media presence below.

CL-makebrand-info-final.png social media presence