5 ways brands overshare on social media

It’s one thing for your cousin to divulge the effects of that mega-burrito on his system. It’s quite another for an executive to reveal a company secret or spew tasteless humor.

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We all have that Facebook friend who’s guilty of oversharing. We’ve all found ourselves “unfollowing” a Twitter user who seems convinced the world awaits news of his next meal with bated breath.

From a marketing perspective, opening up on social media can be precarious, because it bears the responsibility of arbitrating content. Social media is, by definition, social: a “pleasant companionship with friends and associates,” according to Merriam-Webster. It’s also a realm built on give-and-take.

To maintain an online relationship, even one involving a consumer and a business (whether it be a consumer brand, an ad agency, or a B2B service company), executives have to strike a delicate balance between authenticity and excess. It isn’t easy to do.

Finding your social niche

Last year, CEO.com and executive management platform Domo released a report on Fortune 500 CEOs and social media. The study found that 70 percent of CEOs had no presence on social networks. One reason for their reluctance was that “mistakes are magnified”—but so, too, are results. A survey by research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey showed that 50 percent of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a company after having followed the company on Twitter.

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