Social media can be a cesspool. It can also be an open line of communication directly between customers and companies. It all depends on how you use it. Used well, companies can convert social media shares into free advertising. Highlighting employees and work-related perks can help attract talent. Use it poorly, and you can turn off that same talent or those same customers.
It's all about balance. Just as Mom told you to eat your vegetables and not just dessert, it's important to generate a mix of content when posting about your company. And when picking who to follow, it's important to be open to different viewpoints.
This is our third special report on social media in the plastics industry. (We try to avoid duplicating past individuals and companies on the list.) When going through the list of suggested accounts to follow from both PN staff and readers, we try to emphasize those that stand out. Typically, those accounts feature a personal take on business, shine a light on employees or celebrate connections to the community.
There are a lot of accounts out there that mostly consist of reposts of content from elsewhere. There are also accounts that haven't been updated in months or even years. I've run across more than a few that have one post from several years ago — from organizations that I know are very active in the industry elsewhere.
It's not surprising that LinkedIn is the most popular platform for the industry. Plastics News' Sarah Kominek has coverage elsewhere in this issue about companies embracing alternative social media platforms such as TikTok where they can connect with a different audience.