‘It’s unethical for any brand to delete negative comments off their social media pages’
Wale Adetona, popularly known as Slimfit, is a digital and social media marketer. He has worked with various brands including Remita, on business development and brand presence in the digital space. He is also a partner at Mustardels Media, a Lagos- based Digital Media Agency
In this interview, Adetona spoke on the impact of social media influence and management in the digital era. Excerpts…
What influenced your becoming a social media influencer?
Well, let’s start by giving a definition to who a social media influencer is. A social media influencer is an individual who has loyal following in a particular niche, and has the power to affect purchase decision of others because of their relationship and interaction with their audience.
So the journey for me started way back from my Lagos State University days, where I discovered corporate brands can leverage on my social relationship to meet their marketing objectives.
There onward, I started focusing on the things that matter, followed digital marketing accounts, read relevant blogs daily, engaged better with my followers to grow my audience and also set keyword alert for relevant update on happenings within my industry of interest.
Further down the line, job offers started pouring in from various brands and individuals for diverse promotional content push and strategy development.
I could name few brands I have helped to achieve their marketing goals via influencer marketing campaigns- Samsung, Access Bank, Heineken, Verve, Gulder, Remita, Amstel Malta, Coke, Krispy Kreme Doughnut, among others.
It is interesting to know that according to the August 2017 Global Digital Statshot from WeAreSocial, a leading digital marketing agency based in the UK, there are 3.028 billion people on social media – that’s 40 per cent of the world’s population!
Having this in mind makes forward-thinking brands realize that they need to tap into the world of opportunities that abound using social media advertising and influencer marketing.
How do we define social media crisis?
Social Media crisis is a situation whereby a particular post or image has caused an uproar from your customers/followers. Example can be an insensitive tweet, inappropriate picture or racist advert from your brand. In any case, the result is that mentions on your social media accounts explode. An example can be seen in the recent racist Ads by Unilever (Dove) and H&M.
If there’s a high volume of incoming mentions on one particular topic about your brand, chances are you have a social media crisis on your hands.
The fact is that, as a social media manager, when there is a social media crisis, you should know that the first action is to escalate internally and call key stake holders to discuss whatever it is and proffer solution ASAP before it gets out of hand.
In addition, here are three critical steps to tackle social media crisis, first, setup a crisis management team, to strategize, plan and brainstorm on best way to address the issue.
Secondly, monitor the crisis. See how the crisis develops. Get more hands if need be so that the volume of social media messages doesn’t overwhelm you. Best bet is to use social media monitoring tools such as Tweetdeck, Google Alert, Mention, Hootsuite, among others.
Thirdly, own your mistakes. When a social media crisis is caused internally, take full responsibility for the issue, even if you’re not the one to blame. Put together a well thought-out public statement, and share it first on the original platform where the problem emanated.
One thing you should never do as a brand is to hide or avoid addressing a crisis or downtime. Waiting for a social media crisis to blow over is never an option. If you ignore it, it will likely get worse. Social media can be an asset in a crisis when used correctly.
I almost forgot to add, whenever there is a social media crisis, pause your scheduled posts!
With a mad panic breaking out around you, it’s easy to forget that you’ve got a full social queue. You can’t afford to accidentally post “#TGIF, what are your fun plans for the weekend?” when your product/service has just caused a serious uproar.
What is your take on brands deleting negative comments/feedback on their social media pages?
Feedback, especially negative, I believe is aimed at making a brand improve in whatever product or service it offers. And of course, there is no perfect system anywhere. Even Whatsapp has downtime at times.
Personally, I think it’s unethical for any brand to delete negative comments off their social media pages. The best approach is to address the comment and move on.
Doing that, you are buying the confidence and trust of your prospective and existing customers.
What is a social media management system?
A Social Media Management system is generally understood as a set of tools designed to manage or analyze interactions through multiple social media accounts from a single dashboard. Sprout Social, Sendible, Hootsuite etc. are examples.
What’s your advice to upcoming Influencers?
I will be blunt on this one. The truth is, the space is getting saturated and it has gone beyond just gaining 10,000 followers and changing your bio to #PRExpert, #SocialMediaGuru, #Trendstar, #Influencer etc. Get serious mentorship, take free online courses; coursera offers lot of free courses for digital marketers. More importantly, create a niche for yourself.
It’s good to follow latest trends on Twitter but you don’t have to participate in all the conversations. Utilize that time to enhance your skills and learn using available resources.
Not every time APC vs PDP, Davido vs Wizkid, #5kBae, “I can’t date a guy who earns 100k.” and all those other irrelevant and non-value adding conversation that takes place on social media.