Social Media & Branding

with Crystal Lee

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How to do social media well.

Crystal Lee

Social Media Guru, Miss California, Marketing Expert

Lessons Learned

It’s worth emulating big companies’ PR and social media accounts.

Every post on social media is an attempt to win over a customer.

Have a targeted approach with social media – don’t put it in the hands of an inexperienced intern.


Lesson: Social Media & Branding with Crystal Lee

Step #10 Advice: How to do social media well

I would suggest having a more pointed and targeted approach while using social media and the reason why is because it can become very easy to put your social media in the hands of an inexperienced intern who then uses it for almost personal reasons. Twitter is very, very powerful and if you are interested in having your brand and your company be around for a long time, you need to realize that every tweet basically becomes immortalized. I think that it's important not to overthink it and when in doubt, tweet just to make sure that you really rethink your language and to understand why the content you are posting is important and relevant. This is why there are lots of social media managers who are good at digital media management because they understand that you are crafting a story.

Every single time you post, you have an attempt to win over somebody. You have an attempt to engage a user in a way that your competitor isn't. I really encourage all individuals and all companies who are interested in really enhancing their brand to really rethink and to really clarify their message because social media is just another channel and another stream by which you can reach your consumers and your customers. It's very powerful but can also be easily misused. Even people who have personal accounts whose jobs are to manage the public relations of a larger brand, a lot of these lines are becoming blurred. So I recommend even if you have a personal account, remember that if you are the founder of a company or if you work for that company, your Twitter by peripheral association is a part of that brand now.

I also recommend to younger people, students, people who just get their phones when they are in eighth grade, be very careful because everything you post is permanent and it's forever. Even if you delete it, you never know if it's been up on someone's news feed long enough for them to take a screenshot and save them in their Dropbox.

I think it's worth emulating big companies that are well-known because they have a big budget for PR. They have a big budget for social media marketing and I think we have seen instances of airlines for instance being very cheeky with each other and that's amusing too because that in and of itself creates content. That ends up becoming news. We are starting to see like a more sophisticated layer of social media not just being the media for news but being news itself. It's news that people are using social media to do these interesting things. How they are using it becomes news, not the media itself. It's interesting to see in the future how that will continue to change as social becomes more social and less media.

Social media is particularly good for B2C businesses because most consumers are going to be on Twitter, if they don't have it for their personal reasons, they might do it for work and even then it's a chance to really capture usership in a demographic that you otherwise won't be able to. I worked for a company called Mailbox and I loved the team at Mailbox. I think that how they handle social media is a way that I want to emulate if I was a startup company. The reason why they are good is because they use social media as a form of support. People don't always go on Twitter just to absorb; they go on there for help. They go on there to have a conversation and to get another way to reach out to the companies' representatives for solution for problem that really pains them. We used a tool called Twitspark. I started out as an intern there. I ended up as an intern there too. They really, really helped me figure out how to best craft my message to use words that don't overpromise and under deliver. If anything, it was underpromising and then over delivering when features came out shortly thereafter.

They also have a search function on Twitspark where you are able to figure out how many specific requests were coming in. It was the search function on Twitter that I was using actually. That was able to figure out how many search, how many feature requests for a particular add-on were submitted. If it was a higher number of people requesting this feature, that would theoretically be put early on the roadmap because we want to make more people happier more quickly. Mailbox really did a great job with that. I know a couple of the early team members, they were there right shortly after launch. There was someone on Twitter 24 hours a day. Someone was responsible for it 24 hours a day. Luckily, it's Twitter so this person could have been at home at 4 a.m. answering Twitter tickets.

But they were cognizant of using the same language and we had all these things called macros where you use the same phrase to address the same concern because shortly after launch, there were a lot of people using our product, we started to see commonalities between certain requests. We were able to get it down to an art, to copy and paste the same types of responses with certain types of requests. In that way, it's like quality control on social media. You are not telling one person something using different words because using different terminology does have a different impact.

One thing the Mailbox team did really well was they integrated Jifs, I call them Jifs because, nerd, or Gifs to their tweets and they were literally photos that were little clips that were just on repeat. For instance, if someone tweeted in thanking us for all these new features and thanking us for Mailbox being tremendously amazing and helping them really, really improve their email experience. We would tweet back, "Thanks we love it too." And then if you click on the Gif, it's a photo of Napoleon Dynamite going like this. Just over and over again with fireworks behind him and it's cheeky and it's fun and it adds a layer of engagement that is not just constrained to text. Because our brand is trendy, we are open, we are transparent, we are clean, we are friendly. All those values really have to come in with every tweet and I think that's something Mailbox team did really well and they continue to do it.

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