Social media can be great for business, but used in the wrong way, your efforts can go unnoticed by your target audience, or worse, cause a backlash against you. So how do you ensure social media is working for you, rather than against you?

“Maximizing the potential of social media requires a real reboot in the mind-set of your company and how it connects with employees, users, customers, and the broader public,” says Cesare Mainardi, chief executive officer of Booz & Co. The new approach is “dynamic, always-on, sharing-centric and participatory.” It’s about getting people involved and engaging with your company in a positive way, rather than using social media as a channel to brag and push sales.

Take a look at Burberry, for example. It used social media to make its fashion shows, traditionally elite and exclusive, accessible to the majority of the brand’s admirers. The company started live-streaming the shows to millions of Facebook fans, as well as creating the “Tweetwalk” where every element of the fashion show was tweeted before the models hit the runway. Here, Burberry wasn’t using social media to push sales —it was using it to fully digitize its brand, transform its organization, and unlock market-leading performance. Those are the digital stakes we’re all playing for.

Social media will also be centre stage in many leading retailers’ Christmas advertising campaigns. For example, M&S are giving viewers the chance to name the terrier carried by Helena Bonham-Carter and the Co-op will be asking viewers for tips and tricks for a relaxed Christmas. All will be aiming to generate value by building powerful, lasting relationships with consumers through social media.

If you need help getting your social media sorted, we can help.