Dead social accounts are everywhere: a Twitter account of a global player that was last updated one year ago; a corporate Facebook page without even a logo or a description of the company; an Instagram profile consisting of the business name, 10 followers and maybe one post. These are what we call “the living dead on social media” – by keeping them alive you can kill or seriously harm your business. And since we hate nothing more than dead flowers in a garden, we want to give you some advice to consider BEFORE and AFTER creating a company profile on social media.
EYERYONE IS ON SOCIAL MEDIA, SO I WANT IT TOO.
Social media comes with a price: just because it is free to set up a profile on Facebook, Twitter etc., it does not mean you can lean back and do nothing. Before you create any social media profile, ask yourself: “Do I have the time, dedication and resources to manage this account?” If you don’t – don’t do it. If you do, do it with dedication.
I WANT IT ALL, I WANT IT NOW!
It does not make sense for every business to occupy all channels from Google+ to Weibo. A photographer might be able to grow a huge fanbase on Instagram with his work, whereas Twitter – which is more about coy than imagery – might be the wrong game to play. A magazine operating in China might not get too far with Facebook. Make sure you weigh in the pros and cons of every channel before you join them.
MY BRAND IS TOO GOOD FOR ITS FANS.
Once you made it – you set up your social accounts, you have a solid fanbase, you put some efforts in managing and feeding your accounts – you will face the unexpected: Fans will interact with you. This is good – don’t get us wrong, but you should be aware that social media are (at least) bi-directional communication channels. If your audience engages with your brand – lucky you! But you have to do your homework and engage with them in return. If you don’t, your platform might backfire with either a decline of fans or a shitstorm at worst. Depending on the channel, you should be able to react to your fans’ feedback and – first and foremost – talk to them in the first place.
WAIT – I AM STILL DOING BUSINESS!
You should not underestimate the image of your brand. Let’s say you have a magazine with a Facebook account and followers, and suddenly you stop posting: What will your fans think? That you are on vacation? No, they will think you don’t run your business well and you might have closed it down. Imagine tumbleweed in a deserted ghost town. Don’t convey this impression to your loyal fans – your brand image can seriously suffer from changing your mind on social media.
THE SOLUTION TO YOUR PROBLEM: BURY YOUR DEAD SOCIAL ACCOUNTS.
You might have made the decision to create social accounts and it turns out you don’t have the capacity to manage them properly. Or you figured out your business makes no sense on Twitter. Well, everyone makes mistakes. The important thing is to learn from them. So before you let your account run dry and ruin your image, take it down. To stay within our flower/garden metaphor – don’t let everyone watch your garden die. Close it and – if you feel you have a green thumb – you can open it to the public again. Tweeties, Instagrammers, Facebookers of the world will thank you for sparing them with another untended company graveyard.