Social Media Smarts

In my latest QSR Magazine column, I lay out keys to social media success.  Frankly it was a difficult column to write — not only because there are so many media options and new ones are emerging daily (I just learned about Ban.jo and Muuver this week), but also because there are so many ways to use these tools.  In the end, I decided to start with the basics, outline my take on the most popular social media sites, and emphasize the importance of an implementation plan — planning the who, what, when, and how of your social efforts.

One point that didn’t make the edit is development of an exit plan.  I see too many companies start their engagement in a social media channel with a big splash only to then neglect their efforts when something else captures their attention or when other business demands distract them.  Given how quickly things evolve in the social media space, it’s expected that bigger and better opportunities will arise — and sometimes you’ll want to move on.   But you don’t want to alienate the communities or users you’ve attracted, or leave your presence in any social media looking like a ghost town — they’re still brand touchpoints after all.  It’s important that you shut down your accounts (or discontinue using them) and release communities of followers with great care.  Be sure to publish a final message explaining your exit and thanking your readers/contributors/followers for their participation — and let them know where/how they can engage with you going forward.

Please take a look at my column, Social Media Smarts, and let me know what you think.  And if you are a QSR owner, operator, or company executive with an issue or idea about brand-building, complete the question form on the QSR Magazine site and I may address it in an upcoming column.

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