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Women belong in the kitchen!

(or how to avoid social media fails)

So women belong in the kitchen! That’s not really what was meant by Burger King’s tweet, but that’s what people focussed on. Outraged comments included “misogynistic” and “most sexist trope ever,” while others accused the company of “using sexism as clickbait.”

This is a classic case of how social media can fail and could potentially harm a business and its brand if you don’t have a clear strategy in place.

social media strategy cartoon of housewife in the kitchen

The Burger King Tweet

Most people have either seen or heard about Burger King’s tweet supporting International Women’s Day on the 8th March.

This was supposed to be their way of changing the gender ratio in the restaurant industry by empowering female employees. Unfortunately, the initial tweet completely overshadowed their follow-up messages which explained what the campaign was about.

@BurgerKingUK March 8, 2021

1st Tweet - " Women belong in the Kitchen"

2nd Tweet - "If they want to, of course. Yet only 20% of chefs are women. We're on a mission to change the gender ratio in the restaurant industry by empowering female employees with the opportunity to pursue a culinary career. #IWD"

3rd Tweet - "We are proud to be launching a new scholarship programme which will help female Burger King employees pursue their culinary dreams!"

Burger King weathered the storm caused by this campaign, but many companies may not be so lucky, or brands be as strong.

So before you start posting on social media, have a clear strategy in place, think about who you want to engage with, what and where you’re going to post, and what reaction you want.

Why have a social media strategy?

Social media platforms give your audience and prospective customers instant access to your brand. What goes out on social media is real-time, which is why it’s important to have a social media strategy if you want to build trust and engage with your audience.

While Burger King will undoubtedly have one in place, this campaign wasn’t properly thought out, and the execution was lacking, which is why it was open to such a tirade of ridicule.

What do you want to get out of social media?

Before you start your social media journey, you need to be clear about what you want to achieve.

Think about goals that can support your overall marketing objectives. These could include:

  • Increase brand awareness

  • Drive traffic to your website or landing page

  • Generate more sales leads

  • Boost brand engagement

When setting your goals, be realistic, as these will set your content strategy and influence how much time you need to spend on your social media campaigns.

You also want to think about how you’re going to measure the success of your goals and whether you want different goals for the different platforms.

Always try to set SMART goals:

  • Specific

  • Measurable

  • Attainable

  • Relevant

  • Timely

For example, if you want to generate more sales leads, you could measure the success of this by improving click-through rates on Facebook or by driving leads to a specific landing page.

Brand awareness could be measured by the number of @mentions, post shares or impressions.

Who do you want to engage with?

In other words, who is your target audience, and where are they active?

Remember, different social media platforms will attract different audiences. Understanding your audience's personas will allow you to create content that they’re interested in. This could be case studies, how-to videos, product photographs, white papers, or infographics that people want to share, comment on, or like.

Listening to your audience is also key, as it allows you to understand what your customers actually want.

What are your competitors doing?

Nine times out of ten, you’ll find your competitors are already using social media, so why not learn from them?

Look at what they’re doing well and not so well. This will help you to see what platforms work for them, where they’re most active, what their audience responds to, what #hashtags or industry keywords they use, and, importantly, what people are saying about them.

What social networks should you be on?

You don’t need to be on every platform, choose which ones are best for your business and where your customers and prospects are. If you’re just starting out on social media, don’t spread yourself too thin. You want to be able to create content that engages with your audience on different channels.

LinkedIn: now the world’s largest professional networking site, this channel is an ideal way to engage with the B2B community. LinkedIn is great for lead generation, customer acquisition, and content marketing.

Facebook: most people have a Facebook profile, and although people aren’t usually on there for work reasons, it’s still a good avenue for B2B marketing. Facebook is a good platform for brand awareness, sales leads, and driving conversation.

Twitter: great for connecting and engaging with a larger target audience, building brand awareness, increasing your search engine visibility, real-time customer service, and giving you an insight into your customers’ likes and dislikes.

Instagram: a strong visual platform where photos and videos are shared. Instagram is one of the best platforms for increasing your visibility and driving more sales. According to Facebook for Business, 76% of people surveyed in the UK use Instagram to research products and services.

Pinterest: used for inspiration, to plan an event, trip, meal, interior design, or look, making it an important visual search engine. According to Pinterest, 85% of people use the platform to decide what to buy.

How to set up your social media account

Once you’ve decided where you want to be, you need to set up your social media profiles or tweak your existing ones to tie in with your social media strategy.

Each social media platform has a guide on how to set up your profile, so check these out to cover all requirements and suggestions.

Make sure your images follow the recommended dimension for each network. Hootsuite has a handy image cheat sheet for reference if you’re not sure what size to use.

Don’t forget to include keywords in your profile so you’ll feature in searches and be consistent with your branding across all the social media networks.

Creating a calendar of content

Planning your posts helps save time as you’re not having to think of content each day. Scheduling posts on a weekly or monthly basis allows you to manage multiple accounts and create content specific to the different platforms.

You can also make sure your posts go out at the best time for your audience, ensuring consistency and greater interaction.

Scheduling your main posts will free up your time to engage with your audience by sharing, liking, or commenting on their posts. And don’t forget the appeal of the odd spontaneous post and real-time updates.

There are various different theories on how to choose what to post and share on social media, these include:

5-3 2

  • 5 content posts or shares from others

  • 3 content you’ve created

  • 2 personal status updates

Rule of thirds

  • 1/3 of your updates about you, your content such as blogs, products, or services

  • 1/3 sharing content from others, including industry news, research, or articles

  • 1/3 relationship building through personal interactions such as comments, thank yous, likes, etc

Others recommend posting your own content almost exclusively. So as you can see, there is no definitive formula. Choose whichever mix is best for you and for your strategy.

Once you’ve decided what and when to post, it's best to schedule your posts using a scheduling tool. This will save you time in the long run and allow you to see any gaps in your posts and scheduling. Some of the better known sites, including Social Sprout and CoSchedule, offer free trials, while tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer have free plans which allow a set number of scheduled posts and social accounts.

Monitor, review and adjust

What’s clear since it first became popular in the 1990s is that social media is constantly changing. New networks are launched, and others disappear. This means your strategy will need to adjust in line with this ever-changing form of digital technology.

Monitor how your networks are performing, check you’re achieving your goals, test new campaigns or networks, and adjust your strategy as required.

Ready to be social?

Once you’ve created your strategy and decided where you want to be active, it’s time to get going. Start gently, monitor what others are posting, and test what you’re doing. Once you realise social media really isn’t so daunting and become more confident, you can start to really engage with your audience.

But remember, social media is exactly what it says it is, social. It's about conversations and patience. It takes time to build trust and engagement.

As blogging guru Seth Godin said:

“Build it, and they will come” only works in the movies. Social Media is a “build it, nurture it, engage them, and they may come and stay.”

And finally - Women don't belong in the kitchen!

There is a difference between encouraging discussions, getting people to talk about your brand, being controversial, or crossing boundaries.

Don’t be a Burger King. Think about what you’re saying; if you think it could be misunderstood, don’t post!

If you need help with your social media strategy or don't have the time to post regularly, get in touch or connect with me via Twitter or LinkedIn.

I can advise on which social networks are best for your business and write engaging posts for the different social platforms. I'm here to help, so let's talk.



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