Brands using Social Media in 2016, You’re Doing it Wrong

Brands using Social Media in 2016, You’re Doing it Wrong

When it comes to brands and businesses on social media the following scene rings true.


Enter a business person talking to me about their social media

Business Person: “I had been doing social media for a couple of months and it just wasn’t working. At the start I was putting out posts every day, then every few days then once a week. I’m not sure what I did wrong?”

Me: “Did you use your analytics?”

Business Person: “My what?”

This can be just one of the reasons why brands struggle to adopt social media the right way and deliver the result they want. From strategy to effort there are some key reasons why brands struggle and we hear the above conversation again and again. As well as giving you tips to improve these we will also show you examples of brands doing social media right.

They don’t have a social media strategy

As with all things in business it’s crucial to remember the 7 Ps when it comes to social media.

Prior Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance

It’s crucial to have a social media strategy and set out:

  • Your identity online
  • Your goals
  • The content you need
  • A timeline

These are the 4 pillars to any social media strategy that you create. A strategy will give your brand a direction. Want to know how to create a social media strategy?

Benchmark Charmin – How do you know this brand is doing well on social media?

They’re toilet paper!!

It’s not exactly the most exciting brand to discuss but Charmin have done a great job. For example with their Facebook Page it’s very much about using interactive content to engage with people. With Twitter as well as this content they also use it as a customer service tool and are a great example of achieving the 4 pillars highlighted above. I mean let’s face it this has happened to everyone at one point.

Social Media Brands 2016

A major lack of effort

Me: “So how often did you engage on social media?”

Business Person: “Every now and then”

Me: “Was this daily”

Business Person: “Not really”

Social media isn’t a magic bullet. A lot of hard work is needed in order to get the most out of it. This means engaging CONSISTENTLY on the social channels where your audience is. It’s vital to be where your audience is otherwise it’s like shouting in an empty room. Look up the stats on where your audience is. Once you know the right channels to use this rule I live by when it comes to social media:


As with everything if you want to get good it requires serious effort. If you put in little effort it will come back to haunt you. 

Benchmark: Paddy Power – They have one of the best social media profiles out there. In an industry such as sport it’s essential to be real time and Paddy Power are geniuses at this. At the same time their content is the definition of tongue in cheek, just check out the Tweet below.

It’s a secondary task

Me: “Have you been engaging with our audience on Twitter today?”

Business Person: “Nope had a report to do”

Very often social media takes a back seat to other business tasks. This is more of a mindset than anything else. It can be a challenge for most businesses to keep working on social media and deadlines, deliveries and reports have to be done. But it’s important to have social media on an equal footing to these. The reason is simple, if social media starts falling into this category then your brands image will be affected. Instead of one problem you’ll have 2.

The current landscape of marketing has evolved to the extent that while digital marketing is a term I would look at it as simply marketing because it has grown in importance. Do not have social media as an add-on to your brands existing efforts. There’s a difference between being on a network and using it the right way for business.


Brands are not monitoring results monthly or quarterly

See quote at the start of the blog

Facebook and Twitter both have analytics tools that can help you see what’s working, what isn’t and who your audience is. While I’d look at my social media accounts stats daily a business can look at theirs weekly and see how things are going. Collate results for the month and then see how things are going. Think about it, would you go into a new business cycle without doing the numbers finance wise? Then why would you do that with social media!! While the numbers might not be as serious you are still investing time and effort so you want to make max use of this.  

From looking at analytics for the last few months I can tell you when it comes to the key social networks the top trends are:

  • Facebook – Video
  • Twitter – GIFs
  • Instagram – Images trump video

They are looking to short-term for results

Business Person: “We haven’t had much happen and we’ve been on social media for a month”

Me: “Is that all?!?”

Too many go on social media and expect results in no time. To get it right you need to have the right building blocks in place and building your audience is one of the most important. Worried about where to start? Well you’re in luck here’s a recent blog post about that every topic. Social media takes time to build relationships and then see results. Focusing on your analytics will definitely help you with this as well as profile your audience.

Not understanding what your audience wants/expects from your brand

Business Person: “I’ve been putting out a lot of stuff promoting our recent sale but people don’t seem to be engaging with it.”

Me: “Have you also been giving people useful A-Z guides to help them out and provide them with value so that they want to do more?”

Business Person: “No just focusing on promoting the sale.”

This can often be the number 1 reason why brands struggle on social media. There is too much of a sales, sales & me, me approach. Few things will have people tune out from you quicker than this.

It’s important to understand what your audience wants/expects. Very often this can be a mix of

  • Value added content
  • Content that shows the human side of the business behind the scenes)
  • Engagement when they have a question. This one is crucial. If a customer asks a question and you answer ASAP then it will really help you stand out.

At the same time it’s important to promote the business, this should only be a part of your social media efforts. This way people will not be annoyed and will instead look forward to the various types of content and touch points that you send out.

Benchmark Innocent Drinks – Not only do they balance promotion content with added value content but they are a great example of engaging with your audience. The below thread is the perfect example of engaging with and creating advocates for your brand.

branding on social media

No personality

Me: “So what is it that makes your brand unique online?”

Business Person: “Not really sure could you tell me more?”

People like engaging with businesses that have a personality. The great thing with this is that there are so many ways that you can add a personality to your existing social media profiles. Some tactics you can use ASAP include:

  • Posting content showing the human side of the business. From video to photos these can be a great way to show the people behind the brand. From a statistics side as well these types of posts also do well.
  • Have background photos that help your brand stand out. Think of these as real estate. How can you use these to stand out.
  • Be interactive when engaging with people – From GIFs (these are always great to add personality) to a personalised video these are a terrific way to help you stand out from the crowd. If you put in that extra effort then it can stand to your brand and reputation.

Benchmark Oreo Cookies – Their Open Up With Oreo campaign is a great example of adding personality and associating yourself with a feeling, in this case it’s imagination and exploration. The imagery is sharp, simple and to the point. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to the shop for some Oreos……

Is your Brand making these Mistakes?

So there you have it from planning to effort to a lack of personality in your social media activity these are just some of the key areas that you need to focus on before you create a profile or hit the post button.

Need help with your social media? The image below should help you identify and then kickstart the work needed on your brand.brands failing social media

You can also sign up to our monthly newsletter for all the latest news on the social media front. Till next time I’ll be eating my Oreos, and yes they’re delicious!!!