Looking at Effective Social Media Programs

I’ve written about this topic before, bad Social Media programs are possibly worse than no Social Media program. take a few moments to read Stop The Social Media Dribble… PLEASE!!!

That said, almost every company is doing a social media program these days. You have to because the world is relying more and more on social media for news, recommendations for products and services and for exchanging information. That means companies have to have a plan, but the thought of creating a plan is intimidating. How do you do it?

 It takes research, detailed planning, and a proper execution. A plan has to be nimble, current and it has to know its audience.

 Let’s take a look at two well-known names, both of them hugely successful businesses, and see how they are doing their social media programs.

The Companies

The companies that we are looking at are McDonald’s and Denny’s. Both of them provide food at low prices. McDonald’s is known for its “fast food” and drive-thru convenience. Denny’s is a sit-down restaurant that has become particularly popular for its breakfasts and for people looking for a late night meal.

McDonald’s is an internationally known name, while Denny’s is probably better known in the United States. Both of them are using multiple social media platforms to reach their intended audience and both of them are multi-million dollar companies.

The Platforms

McDonald’s has a diverse set of social media platforms in play including: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Spotify, YouTube and Instagram

Denny’s also uses multiple platforms including: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and YouTube.

How they Look

By taking a look at the two plans you can tell that the companies have slightly different intended audiences. For example, McDonald’s is a massive company with a diverse menu of breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert items. It is a company that wants to an all-purpose fast food stop for anyone and everyone whether they are looking for a snack of a meal, for one person or a whole family.

Therefore, McDonald’s is more diverse in their social media programs. They are also very current, using recent pop culture references throughout their social media programs. They use all of them, including Spotify, to reach younger audiences and as many audiences as they can. The platforms have a heavy use on photos and images, ties in with their advertising programs, and appears fully integrated with McDonald’s marketing and advertising plans. This shows the importance of including a social media program that is fully integrated in all communications efforts.

Denny’s is looking for a slightly different audience. Although the restaurant chain has food for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert and also looks for individuals, travelers and families, there is no denying that their biggest food items are related to breakfast. They are looking for a slightly different audience. Thus, although Denny’s has social media entries across multiple platforms they are obviously updating and using Twitter most frequently. This must have come about via research for their intended audience and that their intended audience uses Twitter as their primary social media source. Denny’s does have creative use of social media, including an ongoing series featuring animated breakfast foods (known as the Grand Slams) on YouTube.

Conclusion: It’s All About the Planning

Which company does it better? That’s hard to say, of course. In both cases, the companies carefully use certain platforms over others. For example, Denny’s has a Tumblr profile, but hardly anything is there and it’s mostly stock photos. Both of them have incorporated marketing, advertising and pop culture items that are running right now. McDonald’s is doing their social media in conjunction with current advertising and using YouTube to answer questions directly from customers. Right now, Denny’s is doing an ad campaign matched up with the upcoming college basketball tournament and much of their imagery is basketball related.

It is obvious that both companies feel that social media is important, reaches the right audience and helps their brand and their appearance to customers. Both companies show that careful planning incorporating the advertising, communications and marketing departments can unite to create a powerful and effective social media program. Both companies show that it can pay off to diversify, but it also helps to know your audience.

Take time to plan your social media program. Do the research and know your audience. Then, commit to the plan and remember to keep using social media along with your other marketing and advertising message and you can use social media to your advantage.

 If you need help with any of that, call in the experts at Augment Marketing, LLC.  Brian Newmark and Tim Boyd, co-founders will review your current situation and develop some ideas you will love and most importantly, your customers will actually look at.

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