Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) are very common in business, although the process is now very different in the digital age, as a greater consideration must be put on how the merger is presented online.
And one key area of this is social media. A social media strategy plays an important role in an M&A life cycle as businesses look to bring their brands together and reassure their customers.
This is why a study from the Emerging Markets Journal also reveals that consumers' perception of a business's social media presence will significantly affect their loyalty and purchase intention.
This makes social media a crucial element in the M&A process to ensure that even after an ownership change, the company remains as dependable—or even more so than ever.
With that in mind, here are four key social media considerations to make when undergoing an M&A:
1. Reviewing Potential Brands
Business writer Carolyn S. Toto outlines how social media can be used to reassure companies. A strong social media presence will be a good indicator of how a company is doing in terms of metrics like audience reach and online presence.
She also notes how “social media can be utilized to reassure customers and potential business partners of the advantages of reorganization.” All of these point to the benefits of having a strong social media presence.
2. Marrying Workflows
An obvious consideration to make when it comes to social media is the workflow from each team.
To ensure that output is consistent and content calendars are properly set, collaboration and alignment must be developed. Get the right tools to make interactions and subsequent executions go more smoothly.
DealRoom software, for example, has a focus on project management that enables team leaders and members to easily send data back and forth.
It’s also a good idea to set initial briefings where staff from each party talk about their own established work habits and productivity tools in regard to their social media strategies. Data highlighted by The Business Journals reveals that 86% of employees and executives note that workplace failures are caused by a lack of collaboration or ineffective communication.
So make use of tools, like our Digital Virtual Room, that help delegation, tracking, and organization. This is particularly essential in the late stages of an M&A process as the two companies develop a new working relationship.
3. Creating Cohesive Branding
It is integral for any successful M&A to establish a unified branding in all their future endeavors. This applies to a variety of categories in social media, from visuals to communication styles and overall messaging. If either partner seems disjointed, this will come across quite jarring to consumers and partners alike.
Take Instagram and its effect on establishing a visual identity for brands. Later’s article on visual branding on Instagram notes how finding the right aesthetic, style, font, and persona are key elements to projecting your values. On top of that, it simply provides an immediate impression that affects your target audience.
What you want to amplify after a merger is that every part is cohesive and will only serve its customers better moving forward. Consider creating a new brand logo and template for your posts. This will clearly indicate to customers that the companies have moved forward together and are on an exciting new venture.
4. Strategizing a New Social Media Plan
Your post-merger social media executions cannot appear disjointed.
To avoid this, prioritize the creation of a new social media plan. Begin by aligning your business leaders and ensure that they share the same goals, focus, and plans. As noted in our article on ‘How to Work with Business Leaders to Build an M&A Strategy’, it’s important to remember that the new steps your leaders initiate will ultimately influence how you are perceived.
The new strategy should highlight not only what has changed to attract new customers, but reassure old customers. A feature titled ‘Don’t Neglect Your Customers During a Merger’, by the Harvard Business Review, found that companies can easily overlook their clients as they get caught up in the merger’s logistics.
The article recommends that the merging companies “implement structures that are focused on keeping the customer experience at 100%”. And the best way to do this is through a social media strategy that promotes constant communication.
For any successful M&A, there needs to be a balance between internal operations and external presentation. Following through on these tips should be significantly helpful in achieving your combined goals moving forward.