Corporate Social Media Is Actually Awesome if You Use It Right

Knowledge is a core value at SCG. This weekly column highlights something interesting learned recently by one of our team members. We hope you find it intriguing and informative.

The case for ditching social media can be made with ease and evidence. It’s a time suck, it sometimes leaves us feeling like the day-to-day minutia of our own lives is absent from others’, and the endless scroll of content glues us to our phones. But, I recently became slightly less concerned with all those negatives when my Instagram story of highlights from Grand Portage State Park led to reconnecting with an acquaintance, which led to an evening Rock Band sesh and a place to stay in Ontario during an otherwise solo road trip north of the Great Lakes. Not too bad, eh?

The tremendous benefit of social media is personal connection, something that’s easy to overlook in favor of metrics: engagements, clicks, shares, follows, reach, organic likes, paid likes, unlikes, net likes. That’s distracting from the central benefit of posting social content, which is a real person in a real place reading your stuff, which can lead to awesome offline experiences like angrily yelling the lyrics to “Du Hast” with some grunge-loving Canadians.

I have changed my mind. For all its follies, social media facilitates connections that are well worth the pitfalls. But you have to keep an eye out for opportunity and use platforms with connection in mind.

So it goes with social media marketing: corporate social media accounts that favor connection over self-promotion outperform even the most well-manicured corporate content streams. In the B2C world, this is exactly the strategy MoonPie followed to punch far above its weight class and revel in the top spot of social media fame in 2017. The midsize Tennessee bakery has a very large Twitter following because their tweets are personal and funny, but also because they obviously care about the people who read their tweets. The homepage of their website is dedicated to tweets to the brand from their social media following. Most people like pastries, but The Chattanooga Bakery makes it really easy to love MoonPies.

As a Twitter user I definitely want more of this:

And less of this:

Good try, Walmart, but that joke is an unoriginal amalgam of last week’s social media trends. It falls flat because there’s so much content on social media, and no one is looking for uninformative, low-risk, low-effort content. MoonPie told us about the tragic history of mooning and made us laugh.

When it comes to B2B social media marketing, it’s admittedly a different ballgame. To run the General Electric LinkedIn page like the sassy Wendy’s Twitter account and roast competing corporations with juvenile insults would be a remarkably grave (if entertaining) error. But the ground rules for B2B are essentially the same as B2C and personal accounts: be original, authentic, and above all else provide valuable content for your following and not at them. Then, when people engage with your content, listen to what they have to say.

If you’d like to chat about social media marketing over MoonPies, or play a Rock Band set in the NYC area (I’m serious about this), please @ me.

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Ryan Strother

If Ryan Strother is not biking around the Twin Cities, he’s writing snappy content or honing in on perfection with his keen eye for copy edits. An experienced writer, Ryan engages audiences with conversational copy and persuasive imagery.

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