Last week we partnered with the PRCA Independent Consultants to host a webinar around Maximising your social media during and post times of crisis. Alice Weightman, CEO of Hanson Search and The Work Crowd chaired the discussion, brought together by our panellists; Douglas Adams and Natalie Grover.
Douglas Adams, Third Bridge social media manager and ex freelancer, pin points just how you can leverage social media in a way to gather information and to ultimately reach out and resolve issues. Social media is something that brings people together, it allows you to champion your own personal brand but also allows you to identify yourself within the corporate world.
Natalie Grover, freelance multi-skilled senior content and social media strategist, has been working through The Work Crowd for a year now, last year working on a Huawei project with Grayling. Natalie talks to us about how organisations and brands should be concentrating on pushing out the relevant content that resonates with their audience who are all experiencing this crisis together. Social listening is vital when it comes to building and driving a social media strategy. It is also important to understand current trends and to prepare for future trends that will ultimately fix your social strategy into place.
Douglas offers us some insights around how to best structure your social media output. He uses an analogy around how we naturally always focus on the seeds – ‘the fruit of our content’ – whether this is generating buzz around business stats or generating new leads, individuals and business’ are always focused on the end goal. However, he notes that we need to focus more on the ground level – ‘the soil’. You would never plant a seed in unnurtured soil. So, by starting from the ground you need to look at identifying what your personal brand is, especially for those freelancers out there. You will benefit from identifying your value proposition and pinpointing the sectors & people that you are going to target.
Area’s to think about:
- Having a profile that resonates with your target audience
- Does your profile instil exactly what you can offer a person when they come to you
- Cementing your identity in terms of key words
- Making your profile easily digestible
- Unifying your social media presence into the overall marketing strategy
- When you are creating content, always thinking about that audience that you have identified
- Create an expectation around what you are doing
Natalie highlights just how important it is to push out content that is appropriate during and post times of crisis, also noting how it is key to make sure that everyone in the team is pulling together in order to coordinate clear key messaging. This is particularly important when responding to something that is happening that could have an effect on your reputation. Being open and transparent is something to really instil in your company values during this time.
Social listening is another key area that is paramount when defining your next steps. Utilising third party platforms like Brand Watch, Sprouts and Social Bakers can help you to really understand what your audience is engaging with and what your customers are saying about your brand in particular. All of that conversation is what will impact your social strategy as a whole. Similarly, it is important to recognise that your entire marketing strategy is a 360 journey. If you haven’t got it right at the destination you’re driving traffic to, then that will have an impact on your social results.
Some interesting stats across the social media space:
- General social media engagement rates are up by 61%
- Social media live streaming consumption – up by 66%, (a real opportunity for organisations to utilise LinkedIn live and have open conversations)
- Twitter users have inclined by 22%
- LinkedIn engagement up by 24%
Social media and preparing for negative responses:
Social media is accessed by everyone, critics and different types of audiences. How should an organisation handle audiences that they are not targeting, whose comments might actually be negative to their reputation, especially during times of crisis?
- Put together a clear crisis documentation: What is the worst possible outcome? Who is the person responsible for approving?
- It is important to engage in a dialogue with those audiences as it can be damaging for a brand or an organisation not to.
- Ensure you are using social media as an information gathering and listening tool, understand that it is not simply a one way street.
- Show your audience other initiatives, give them value.
If you have any feedback around the webinar we’d love to hear from you!