Social media

Time to get serious about social media

Time to get serious about social media

Matt Peacock, group director of corporate affairs at Vodafone, gave a healthy reminder at this year’s CIPR national conference never to begin with tactics. “Everything goes wrong when you start at the bottom,” he said, referencing a simple illustration on the screen behind him. This got me thinking about the way social media is sometimes approached in a couple of our clients’ organisations.

Just a few years ago we were fighting hard to convince leaders of the value of social media. It’s not right for B2B, they said. Fast forward to today when our clients’ managers are the ones urging us to do more with these platforms. The power of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can no longer be ignored, even in the niche industrial sectors SE10 typically works with.

Posts are being scheduled and in-house social media managers hired but it still feels like a bit of a box-ticking exercise. It’s often a case of ‘we must do something for social media!’ from the client without much discussion beyond the tactics.

Given that social media feels more relevant now than ever, it can be easy to forget that it’s a communication channel like any other. In order for it to be truly effective, it has to form part of the overall communications strategy and be treated with the same level of professionalism as the rest. It requires clear objectives and the brand, messaging and timing must be consistent and coordinated with content on all other channels. If ever we needed a PR New Year’s resolution it’s this: to stop simply ‘doing social media’ and to take it seriously. The C-suite will thank us for it.

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