Please be advised. This post is not about weddings or inspiration boards. Instead it’s about social media. So sit back, relax, and listen as I jot down my social media coordinator confessions.
Social media can make or break a company. As a social media coordinator, I have seen first hand the power of a Tweet, Facebook post, and Instagram picture. But it’s an extremely frustrating position to be in when the company you are representing, refuses to use social media to their advantage.
To some, social media is a mere past time used by young adults to talk about their daily antics, lunch menu, and gym routine, but to innovative companies, social media is a priceless outlet to convey a message and engage with clients and fans. Brands that are adopting social media into their landscape are praised and celebrated, while those slow to jump on the bandwagon are ridiculed.
There have been a few recent events at my current job that have made me rethink my role, as a “coordinator.” Coordinating a message is easy and managing an online community is an important position that shouldn’t be overlooked. With the lack of a manager in my department, my hands are tied as I watch negative comments flood our social media accounts. No response can be posted without consent and when no consent is given after asking, informing, and referring to case studies, all you can do is wait. But waiting is not always the right answer, especially when your company is in the middle of a national crisis.
Although it is extremely frustrating to sit and wait while a crisis is arise, there are a few important lessons I have leaned. Actually, I already knew these important lessons but because no one is listening to me, I am going to share a few valuable tips with you.
Be prepared: It’s not if something is going to happen, it’s when something is going to happen. Before the unthinkable takes place, you should have a well thought out plan that can be altered accordingly. Whether it’s a social media crisis plan, a step-by-step guide with pre approved responses, or a trained crisis spokesperson, having a plan will only help your organization stay on top of the situation and correct the problem in a timely fashion.
Timing is everything: Social media has created a sense of urgency. If your brand is facing a crisis the last thing you want to do is wait to release a statement and take action. Having a plan in place and a strong team will help organize a response, develop a plan, and gain control.
Don’t lie: Honesty is the best policy when it comes to a crisis and owning up to your mistake(s) will help you gain back credibility. It’s also important to be transparent, hiding from a situation and pretending nothing is wrong is a recipe for disaster. For example, if your company is making national news about a situation the public feels strongly about, don’t post inspirational quotes and cute pictures….It is not the right time or place.
Evaluate the situation: After the crisis has simmered down, gather your team and analyze what went wrong and where you can improve. This brainstorming session is extremely important when suggestions and opinions are still fresh in people’s minds. But don’t stop there, meeting with your team should be a regular occurrence and everyone should stay up-to-date with strategies, tactics, and procedures.
Last but not least…The brands reputation is extremely important. When disaster happens you and your team need to be on top of the process and stay in control in order to fix the problem. Whether you are answering emails, responding to Facebook comments, posting a video retort, or answering questions live via Google Plus, you need to do something. Oh, and the most important lesson of the day, don’t leave your social media coordinator out in the dark and consider a social media manager.