Social Media marketing is more than just posting once in a while…Don’t let your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram gather cobwebs, you need to “show up” day after day with fresh content. Instead of spreading yourself thin across 5 different sites, focus on 2-3 primary accounts. Incorporating social scheduling and automation saves time and energy.
Whether your a big or a SMB company, a celebrity or some kind of a famous personality with a large amount external public exposure, chances are you may have to deal with some kind of social media crisis sooner or later. A crisis can occur at random (insensitive tweet), or it can occur with a product misstep or even a social media account hacked. In this digital world, speed of these harmful conversations can implode on you or your company in mere seconds.
While there is no “one size fits all” approach, the below basic social media action plan will help you quickly identify the crisis (issue) and resolve it before it goes viral and turns into disaster.
The first stage of social media crisis planning is to identify the problem or issue in real-time before it gets out of control and goes viral. There are many tools out there that can help you keep tabs and monitor the majority of social media platforms. Most of these social tracking tools depend on keywords important to you or your company. Keywords such as “Company” or “product name” “name of person” “events” “competitors” “social media accounts” etc.
A short list below:
- Social Mention. A great social real-time listening tool for your brand. It measures your influence within four key categories: passion, sentiment, strength, and reach.
- Google Alerts. Track your brand mentions across web and news sites.
- Mention.net. Track your brand across blogs, news sites and forums.
- Talkwalker. Track your brand across across mostly blogs.
- HowSociable. Measure and track what your competition is doing in Social Media.
- Sprout Social. Great tool for monitoring and measuring your brands.
- Radian6. A salesforce product. It allows you to quickly and efficiently track, monitor, and react to comments, questions, and complaints as they happen on most all social media platforms.
Here are five basic steps to include in your social media crisis plan:
1. Act quickly. Speeds kills, but speed also resolves! Explain the issue or problem FIRST and what your going to do to address it ASAP before it takes hold on Social Media. Be very transparent. You need to do this before it destroys your brand or major lawsuit.
2. Take charge. Step up and take charge of the issue and move fast (even if its at 2am).
3. Be transparent. If its bad and your company screwed up. Take ownership. Own up to the problem or issue!
4. Engage. Engage all the nay-sayers. Engage all the Social Media Trolls and critics.
5. Spread the word. Post your PR response on your website, company blog, social media pages and media releases.
Bottom line: Don’t wait until the threat to your company’s reputation becomes visible. Identify the crisis and get out in front of it before it takes hold.
As of 2018, nearly 97 percent of all Fortune 500 enterprises use at least one social media platform to promote their initiatives and foster positive communication with stakeholders. This statistic was back in 2017-2018. I’m guessing in 2021, the % change is almost 100%. Its clear that using at least one social media network, such as Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube, in order to establish a good communication line with stakeholders, customers and advocates is crucial in 2021.
Determine which social platform serves your brand or service better. Whether you are a seasoned social media marketer, a marketer looking to venture into social media marketing, or a business owner looking to leverage on social media, it’s helpful to know the most popular social media sites around that will amplify your brand. Choose the most popular platform based on your company’s product or client demographics. For example, Financial Advisors would choose Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter over Instagram. Actual product Fortune 500 retail marketers that need more “visual” branding would gravitate towards Instagram or Pinterest.
Pro Tip: Don’t let your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram gather cobwebs, you need to “show up” day after day with fresh content. Instead of spreading yourself thin across 5 different sites, focus on 2-3 primary accounts. Incorporating social scheduling and automation saves time and energy. Picking and prioritizing your social networks based on your audience location. Repurpose content so your not always trying to reinvent the wheel. Build your presence and following on those accounts as much as possible. If you do not have Fortune 500 type social media resources, just pick and focus on 1 platform. Once you get the hang of it (content creation, scheduling) branch out and add another platform. You can also outsource the work to a contractor. When you outsource anything, one of the greatest outcomes is gaining expertise that isn’t currently available to you. This is especially true when you’re considering outsourcing social media management.
Facebook. Create right column ads with your company logo and basic information (name, website, and location if appropriate). These ads should be boring: they should make your logo and business name very visible, but not entice the viewer to click on them. Next, place top bids on these ads; with high cost per click (CPC) bids, your ads will consistently show up on your target audience’s Facebook pages but few people will actually click on them (meaning they won’t cost you much money but will increase your visibility).
Make sure you Segment Your Ads by Channel. Don’t lump their ads and let them run on both desktop feed, desktop right, and mobile feed (and third party apps). Set a budget and then target your audience. You can also add Instagram in your placement platform. Pro Tip: Use the Facebook Pixel. The Facebook pixel is a small piece of code that can have a big impact on your Facebook ad campaigns. Once you place the code on your website, it allows you to track conversions, remarket to people who have viewed a product on your website.
Segment = They all have different click characteristics.
Write text on images (old school tip). In most verticals, this is almost guaranteed to increase your CTR. If you want to get the best results, it’s important to understand the different Facebook ad types and targeting options before you dive in. If you already have a Facebook business page (and you should), you can head straight to the Facebook Ads Manager or Business Manager to create your Facebook ad campaign. If you don’t yet have a business page, create one first.
Don’t post the same EXACT content or same post on each platform. The platform and the audience using each, are unique and as such require a unique post. W
If you post the same content on each platform, you run the risk of customers “unfollowing” you on one if not all of your platforms. Customers (or audience) will grow tired of the duplicate posts/content. Posts can be similar, but not exactly the same.A majority of Instagram users are under 30, and many are in their teens. Instagram users are primarily looking at images and/or videos as posts or as Instagram Stories.
From a product or services firm perspective: Pick two or three social media platforms and concentrate on mastering those (if resources allow). If resources are limited, concentrate on Facebook and Twitter first. Determine which serves your brand or service better. Whether you are a seasoned social media marketer, a marketer looking to venture into social media marketing, or a business owner looking to leverage on social media, it’s helpful to know the most popular social media sites around that will amplify your brand. Choose the most popular platform based on your company’s product or client demographics. For example, Financial Advisors would choose Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter over Instagram. Actual product marketers that need more “visual” branding would gravitate towards Instagram or Pinterest.
First things first. Establish Trust. People naturally look to other people as a guide for their own behavior. Don’t get spammy with your posts or tweets. Post social media content that is quality and compelling (always include an image). Encourage free exchange. Be open to change and continuous learning. Social proof (trust) typically rises exponentially, and it will become a self-perpetuating force.
Remember to establish reasonable goals once you start gaining momentum. Listen to your customers or fans (followers). Always gain feedback and adjust accordingly (iterate). Figure out what to measure when putting together goals. Example: do you measure “followers” or “likes” “retweets” or “retention” or “sales”?
Your goals should be distinct, in that you have a specific, defensible reason for participating in each platform. Take a look at your outreach strategy and review the reasons your business is implementing a social media marketing outreach plan. What do you want out of your social activities? Are you trying to drive visitors to your website, your blog, via Twitter or your Facebook page? Are your competitors on social media? Focusing on your ultimate goal will guide your next steps: what you do (what other channels you will use going forward), when you do it (what schedule you will aim for? Night or Daytime according to your demographic), and what content to share. Be vigilant and always participate every day (even if you have to schedule and automate it). Social Media marketing is a slow process that will pay off dividends in the future!
SEO is especially important in the inbound marketing world, which relies on potential customers finding you through their own research process — a process that often involves organic search. Social platforms have built-in search functions, and search engines like Google + Bing are starting to take your social presence (use of “social signals”) into account when delivering results
Adding a social media presence to your SEO / traffic strategy is key now. However, the relationship between Social Media and SEO is complicated. As a general rule, the more social media signals you generate, the “better” your prospects of ranking higher. Make sure your business has a Facebook page, Twitter account, and a LinkedIn page. Be consistent with all of them when posting content. Use the same announcements, content, pictures, branding, description, etc. Also, make sure your website is more shareable. Rock-on!
If you are a small business (SMB) and you don’t have a Facebook business page, its time to create one as your losing out on possible new customers, leads and clients! Having a Facebook business page makes it easier for people to discover and interact with your brand online. I posted an article way back in 2015 on “Facebook Ad Tips” which I plan on updating soon.
A great article resource on “How to Create a Facebook Business Page in 7 Easy Steps” is over here on Hootsuite.
Below are some compelling statistics on why every small business (SMB) should at least have a basic business page on Facebook.
Facebook has 2.74 billion monthly active users
Facebook is the world’s third-most visited website
Facebook users spend 34 minutes per day using the platform
42% of businesses on Facebook are based in the suburbs
18.3% of U.S. adults made a purchase through Facebook in the last year
⅔ of Facebook users visit a local business Page at least once a week
With the advancement of internet technology and the increase adoption of bandwidth around the world, the new PR/media relations professional has to make sure to embrace the modern day platform. Setting up an online newsroom for your company is essential for a few reasons:
1. It’s going to be the main source of credible information about your company, especially when journalists, analysts, and customers are researching at all hours or use your online news center to obtain breaking news.
2. The newsroom is also a great way to maintain control of brand communication (much better for a journalist to receive info straight from the brand rather than another source).
3. Newsrooms can also save in costs associated with sending out media kits or informational product USB sticks. All Media kit information can be converted into PDF format and posted in the newsroom as well as USB sticks converted into video format.
Most journalists or investors expect to see the basic elements included in your newsroom. Basic elements include:
– Contact info for your main PR contact. Basic facts about the company. Executive bio section. Company’s point of view on its industry. Access to financial information, quarterly newscast of earnings. Easy downloadable images for stories. Images and logos should be in 72 dpi for web usage and hi-res 300 dpi files for print publications. Searchable news release archives. Product information.
Online newsrooms range from the basics to the more advanced media centers with searchable databases, video presentations, and podcasts. These interactive newsrooms can contain blogs, RSS feeds, and SMR (Social Media News Releases). When sending out PR email alerts to journalists or investors, it’s always good practice to put link-backs to the online newsroom. Targeted messages using RSS feeds are also great for wireless devices like mobile phones.
Other online newsroom features you will want to include are E-press kits. E-press kits include targeted news releases, images, statements and related content. Also include the ability for a journalist to sign up for email “media alerts.” If you really would like to cater to your journalists and media personal, include personal folders in the newsrooms with a password protected (encrypted) area to store information they’ve researched and want to archive for future use. Add special icons into press releases or other collateral that will enable the journalists with a simple click to add to their folder.
Break the newsroom into a “corporate” and “consumer” section. The consumer section should include news and info on customer satisfaction, feedback, e-commerce, marketing, safety, compliance and service. As you build your online interactive newsroom keep the following in mind:
– Your brand’s newsroom will be a main source of credible information as journalist’s research story ideas or analysts looking for financial information.
– Understand the basics of your online newsroom before enhancing it. Add features and functions slowly. Keep in mind that most journalists today that access your newsroom are technologically savvy. Don’t be afraid to add advance features.
– Always post fresh content everyday (blogs are a good example). Fresh content will have journalists & Investors returning to your newsroom to check out the latest news and information.
– Build your newsroom in phases starting out with the basics. A second phase can include features such as RSS, podcasts, video. A third phase you can add blogs, tags, social bookmarking sites and even Twitter searches or Mention to check out all the chatter on a topic in the blogosphere or social media platforms.
Don’t post the same EXACT content or same post on each platform. The platform and the audience using each, are unique and as such require a unique post.
If you post the same content on each platform, you run the risk of customers “unfollowing” you on one if not all of your platforms. Customers (or audience) will grow tired of the duplicate posts/content. Posts can be similar, but not exactly the same.