Crafting Social Media Strategies That Enhance Crisis Communications – Part 2 of 3
This is a part two of the three-part guest blog featuring Chris Syme’s new e-book “Listen, Engage, Respond”. This addresses the important “What doesn’t work” for best practice Social Media strategies – the next will feature on “What does work.”
For a long time, organizations have had one set of social media strategies for business operations and another for crisis communications. The truth is, the right social media strategy will boost business, develop loyal fans, and set the stage for quicker crisis mitigation. In Chris’ new e-book Listen, Engage, Respond, she lays out a strategic social media blueprint that super charges every area of your marketing and communications, in addition to protecting you in a crisis. First, we’ll need to cover the basics.
The Five Models of Social Media Engagement/Loyalty
Why are loyalty models the golden ticket? Because any model that focuses on building loyalty moves your fans and followers from being mere consumers of goods and services to being advocates. I love the way Ant’s Eye View described this in a recent slideshow on the difference between influence and advocacy. The objective is to move your fans from “I like you” to “I love you” to “I defend you”. That’s what we’re shooting for in crisis communications—fans that will come to our defense.
There are many systems out there for building social media engagement, and the Listen, Engage, Respond system is based on best practices and streamlined for use in crisis communications. We’ll look at them from the least effective strategy to the best. As Chris Syme states, ” I wrote on the details of how to rate each strategy on my blog.”
What Doesn’t Work
The two most widely used social media strategy models actually have little or no value in building loyalty, but have substantial value in building a customer base and selling products. Because of those benefits, and the fact that they are easy to implement, many organizations never go beyond broadcasting and building reach. Both are easy to measure as well.
Broadcasting: You talk and people (hopefully) listen. You offer nothing to your fans but information you want them to have. Tactics-wise, comments are probably disabled on blogs and Facebook pages, you don’t re-tweet anything your followers have to say, and you only follow those that give you valuable information. If you do allow comments, you probably delete anything negative said about your organization. Your posts may be infrequent, and you may automate all your messages verbatim across all social channels. All you want to do here is give information with no real thought to how it’s being processed. Also, you’re probably not listening to the online conversations around your brand. Your measuring here is based on your output, not on interactions.
Reach: Here, your main focus is on numbers: building fans, followers, and likes. Your main goal is to increase the social graph of your organization. In traditional marketing, we call this “eyeballs”. Tactics-wise, the ability for fans to upload or post on your Facebook page may be disabled, but you do allow comments on what you post. There is occasional monitoring and occasional “liking” comments by the page manager. Your content is designed to get people to like, follow, and subscribe. There may be no specific calls to action for different stakeholder groups.
You may be using landing pages (like this page and…), follow-backs, Adwords, or Facebook campaigns to increase fan numbers. Your focus here is on number of followers, not necessarily getting them to respond. Your motto is, “he who has the most fans, wins.”
This is what doesn’t work. We will continue Chris’ strategies for Social Media in our next blog by looking at what does work.
Editor’s Note: This is the third article in a week-long series about crisis communications. These guest posts were originaly posted on Brad Phillip’s blog.