People are more connected to the world and the messages of its leaders than ever before. Top news headlines across the globe seem to change at record pace and, thanks to social media, we have 24-7 access to a constant stream of updates and opinions at the palm of our hands.
As we continue to dive deeper into the Metaverse, companies and business leaders who aren’t prepared and equipped to evolve at the speed of news and don’t plan ahead for the time and resources needed to stay on the forefront of messaging trends will lose ground on their competitors. Not only will they fail to grow their personal and professional brands, but they’ll end up negatively impacting their bottom line.
As a team of former journalists and messaging experts who work with companies of all sizes across a wide range of industries on earned, social and paid media strategies, here are our top three messaging misconceptions companies should leave behind.
1. Plan content months in advance
Planning and executing a strong social content strategy is incredibly time-consuming work. As a way to save time, many companies fall victim to the false notion that they should be writing and scheduling months’ worth of content in advance. While this practice may seem smart in theory, the end result is almost always a negative one.
One avoidable mistake brands make repeatedly is not pausing and pivoting away from pre-scheduled posts during breaking news scenarios or times of tragedy. While there is almost always no bad intent, posting a preplanned promotional message five minutes after the death of a prominent figure or an update in a critical court case can spell disaster for the reputation of a brand.
Being mindful and sensitive to the ever-evolving world around us is the key to increased follower engagement and a positive online presence. Our advice to companies and business leaders is to plan strategies and messaging months in advance, but not plan posts until a week in advance. The person responsible should be ready for last-minute alterations and to capitalize or comment on timely opportunities and trending news. Being a true industry thought leader and standing out as a smart and reputable brand online means being nimble at all times. The “set-and-forget” content planning mentality is a thing of the past!
2. Separate PR and marketing strategies
Branding in the age of social media is a completely different ballgame than it was even 10 years ago. Your PR and marketing objectives need to align in order to unlock the power of your brand story and effectively communicate it to your desired audiences. For example, a powerful earned media piece spotlighting your product or service should also be used as a marketing tool and promoted strategically across social media channels. Your strategy shouldn’t be different for earned, owned, and paid media objectives. They should work together for maximum reach and impact.
The notion that large organizations can have success delegating different pieces of their public-facing messaging strategy is outdated. In an organization large enough to do it all in-house, there are usually too many people involved in the planning and execution phases so important details end up slipping through the cracks. For consistency and long-term success in the digital age, the company voice needs to be unified across all platforms.
3. Social media isn’t important for business executives
Digital natives are entering the job market in record numbers. When doing research on potential employers, they want to know about the leadership team and what they stand for! People don’t relate to businesses, they relate to people. If you don’t tell your story, someone is going to tell it for you. Clients, customers and future employees are all interested in working for a genuine and relatable person. Whether it’s your origin story or tips and tricks from your professional journey, people resonate with stories.
Nearly 70% of businesses reported having difficulty hiring in 2021. One major trend we’re seeing at Media Minefield is, when the same job opportunity is posted from the company and CEO accounts, the CEO’s posts are garnering higher levels of engagement, interest and qualified candidates! That data just goes to show the importance of a strategic and active social media strategy for business leaders in 2022.