Most companies today understand that they need to be on social media. However, there’s a big difference between knowing you should do something, and knowing how to do it well.
Long gone are the days of having the youngest person on your team post some photos to Facebook a few times a month. Smart companies today are proactive about curating a social media presence that is in line with their values, as well as their overall business goals.
And a big part of curating a social media presence is managing your brand’s social footprint well.
What Is Your Brand’s Social Footprint?
Like the name suggests, your brand’s social footprint refers to everything you’ve ever posted to any social media platform. Quite literally, it’s the ‘footprint’ you’ve left online.
By ‘everything,’ we mean every post on every platform, but that’s just the start. Your social footprint also refers to all your comments and interactions on both your own posts, as well as on any other posts.
In other words, if it’s attached to your brand and someone can find it on a social media website, then it’s part of your brand’s social footprint.
Why Manage Your Brand’s Social Footprint
They say the Internet never forgets, and they’re right. If you’ve made mistakes in the past, you can assume your audience will find them. And what you say today will have repercussions tomorrow. That’s why you need to be careful with the footprint you’re creating, ensuring it’s on-brand and appropriate, as well as be aware of the digital footprint you’ve created in the past.
Ultimately, you need to manage your brand’s social footprint, so that you can help shape the conversation about your company as much as possible.
How To Manage Your Brand’s Social Footprint
Managing your brand’s social footprint means updating what you may have said in the past, and being careful about what you say going forward.
While every company will have a different approach to using social media, there are several key best practices for managing any company’s social footprint.
Audit your profiles. This includes going back through every post and comment, and updating or deleting them as necessary. You may want to delete old profiles that you no longer use. You should also update your existing profiles, so that your company description, contact info, and profile picture/logo are all up to date.
Keep auditing. Auditing isn’t a one-and-done job. Depending on your goals and activity, your company should plan to monitor (and update) your social media profiles on a regular basis. This can (and should) include checking the data you need to be collecting on your social media, to ensure you’re maximizing your marketing efforts.
Develop a social media plan. Like we’ve covered, social media isn’t something you do on the fly. It’s a critical leg in your overall marketing efforts, and it should be treated as such. You should therefore carefully assess which social platforms are being used by your potential customers, and create a plan to consistently share relevant and on-brand content with them there
Engage with your audience. Finally, the reason social media is so popular is because people want to be able to engage with people—and with brands—directly. Remember, everything you do online will be judged, and that includes how you interact with people publicly in your comments. For this reason, it’s important to have a strategy for engagement with your audience, as well as to automatically manage brand mentions across social media.
In today’s world, there aren’t many companies that can afford to not be on social media. That said, social media marketing is complex and competitive, and it’s not always possible to manage your own social media, or to hire full-time staff to do so. In these cases, hiring a team of experts to provide managed social media services can be a game changer.