“I don’t have anything to post, should I still have (or get) a social media page?” It’s an age-old question we hear time and time again since SoMe started hitting the mainstream in 2010. Be it from clients without the time or budget to maintain some large-scale content marketing, to those who don’t have the resources to keep posting. What’s the point of having a social media presence when you have nothing to post? We argue that there is, and here is why...
One. Claiming your brand’s name
Twitter handles, and Facebook Page URLs are given on a first come first served basis. Just because you own the trademark to a name, doesn’t mean you’ll be granted it. Many companies have sought to jump onto the SoMe train, only to discover that their preferred username has already been taken – resulting in a digital real estate nightmare.
The issue isn’t new – the birth of the internet was followed with companies such as McDonald’s and the BBC finding someone else had bought for, and now owned, the respective .com addresses. The issue was the same for Apple, who failed to initially get the @Apple twitter account. The result is either costly court case to win your name back under Cybersquatting rules or paying up to six figure sums. The alternative is to leave it as is - leaving potentially confusing situations.
The lesson is, claim your name while you can.
Two. Protecting your brand’s Image
Related to the first point is to protect your brand's name. As part of the unspoken packages we give to clients we often spend hours finding and reporting 'entrepreneurial' individuals who've taken it upon themselves to create fake pages with our client's branding. Normally to mislead candidates. For example, when we did this service for Sainsbury’s we had closed down over 20 pages (from our recollection anyway) that offered guaranteed jobs at the company… for a price.
Without having a page, if a prospective candidate searches your brand on a social media website, they will often find themselves on a fraudulent page. You’ll be doing your candidates a favour.
Three. Used as a location for check-ins and tags/mentions
Just because you’re not posting on a page, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a function. By having a page, particularly on Instagram and Facebook, you’re allowing social media users to use your company as a 'check-in' location. Similarly, you’re allowing people to share your company name by allowing others to tag you in. You’d be silly to turn down the potential of free promotion.
Four. Search Engine Optimisation
This is surrounded in debate, but the presiding evidence is that social media presence has a positive (indirect) impact on your website's SEO. Not only does a Facebook Page or a Twitter account provides another link to your website, it's also something Google considers in search ranks.
But there is a much bigger point here too. Social media websites are search engines too. People don’t exclusively use Google to search for stuff. They use LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram alongside it. If someone wants to check out your company, they’re likely to open Twitter and Facebook and do a quick search to see what your page looks like. Without being there, you’re going to have people (and potential candidates) finding a blank space where you should be – or worse, finding a page that is impersonating you (point 2).
Five. It’s another chance to define who you are
Every website has an About page – it’s a way to tell your readers who you are, what you look like, and why they should be interested in your company. A non-active page can still be useful when it contains information you want users to read. And also to display your visual identity. We've seen restaurants who have an Instagram account just to show their menu. And brands use their account simply as a visual platform to display their identity to those who might just stumble across it.
A Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter page is just another place for you to define your place in the world.