Social media is playing an increasingly important role in our society…and in our boardrooms. And although a social media presence is not necessarily the ‘be all and end all’ for every brand or business, it has now become prevalent enough that it should be considered and taken into account in every company’s overall communications strategy.
Facebook has transitioned from unknown to everyday; twitter is well on its way to doing the same. At the least, organisations should be monitoring channels such as facebook, twitter, youtube and linkedin for mentions of their companies, brands and people.
Developing a communications strategy to respond, create and proactively lead online conversations is the next step.
Like any communications strategy, using the right tone is essential. Nothing will turn an online audience off quicker than a business or brand telling them what they should think and not listening to their response. Online conversations are just that – people engaging online and talking with each other, not at each other.
Timeliness is also key – these days news spreads at the speed of a keyboard. One anecdotal story that did the rounds reports that Usain Bolt’s 100m Olympic win was uploaded to youtube within 8 seconds of him crossing the finish line. Companies need to be prepared to invest time and resources to monitoring online conversations and responding in a timely manner.
And a word of warning for those who should know better – the increasing use of social media by a multitude of people, not just teenagers and ‘tech heads’ means those foot in mouth gaffs are no longer just tomorrow’s fish and chips.
From John Key, whose ‘cannibalism’ joke fell flat, to Amanda Hotchin, whose insensitive comments from her luxury hideout were nothing but offensive to the hundreds of investors who have lost their money in Hanover – today’s social media channels will ensure those comments and the response to them will live forever online.
To discuss your online communications strategy further, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 09 360 8500.