In our online world public relations are constantly being built up and torn down, these misfortunes are occurring without regard to a company’s size or even market dominance. In fact it seems that these mistakes are made across the board with organizations such as the American Red Cross posting embarrassing and unprofessional posts onto its twitter account. Once the realization that such large and well established entities can make such simple mistakes sets into you, the idea of taking proactive steps to combat and limit such liabilities sounds more and more like a promising endeavor.
Remind yourself that while mistakes can be costly, it’s a bigger risk to simply choose to not engage in social media. Our landscape demands a social media outlet for most companies and the rewards that can be leveraged from such direct consumer to company relations. Reading onwards I will instill seven helpful tips when using social media to garner PR.
Think Before You Post
Take your time to look at the material you are about to send out. Every post you make will be representative of the entire company and its policy to most viewers. These are frustrating situations to deal with after they occur, which is why companies with well-regarded online social media outlets make sure to implement tight standards as to what their employees are allowed to say, which will drastically limit any negative postings.
Rise Above The Politics
Never engage in political debates that split people of all varieties. By engaging in these issues you are possibly turning off many consumers from listening to what you have to say. One of the common areas for such political speak is in regards to gay marriage. Two famous companies that were chastised by a portion of their consumers are Oreo and Chick-fil-A. Oreo took to defending gay rights while Chick-fil-A went the opposite direction. Both brands caused damage to their own brands by engaging in a debate that could possibly alienate customers.
Often many business neglect to train those who are in charge of operating their social media feeds. In one case an American Red Cross worker famously tweeted about getting hammered to the official American Red Cross account as opposed to her own personal account. This mistake happened because the employee had no formal training in regards to operating the application she was using to manage multiple twitter accounts. Make sure that you implement your own settings for the accounts and confirm that the public is actually able to view it before announcing its service.
No Room For Crude Humor
When attempting to build up your public relations credibility it’s important to note that certain jokes are simply inappropriate. Countless companies and media personalities have been openly criticized and faced public backlash over inappropriate tweets or posts to any of their social media accounts. Keep your posts polite and any humor should be toned down to apply to the widest possible audience.
Timing Is Very Important
Make sure that before you start posting things online you take a gander at the happenings going on in the world around. If a world disaster is ongoing either at home or in some other corner of the globe you are going to want to make note of that in your tweet. The NRA faced public backlash over a tweet posted as the infamous Aurora, Colorado shooting was occurring. The tweet had supposedly been set to post hours beforehand, still proper monitoring of the events going on could have prevented such mistakes from happening.
When companies flood users social media streams with endless amounts of self-promotion the users tend to stop paying attention as much. Promotions must be managed and handled in a way that isn’t borderline annoying. Set an amount that the company’s accounts are allowed to post per every set amount of hours. This will still allow you to market your message and increase your brand visibility but also will eradicate the chance of becoming the company every one ignores online.
Never Feed The Trolls
As the public presence of your company you have certain standards you must hold yourself accountable to. One of the most important things to keep in mind is to always be the bigger person. The reason is obvious and apparent to anyone that has been using the web for years now. The reality simply is that there will always be a large swath of users who have the desire to wreak havoc on web pages for a few personal laughs. These trolls will try to spoil genuine polls and surveys with spam and insults that make it impossible for actual customers to respond. Deleting the comments posted by trolls is acceptable behavior, but be careful to not confuse troll comments with that of genuine negative feedback. The impact caused in deleting genuine negative feedback is worse than having left it where it was.
Resource Box: This article was written by Eduardo Dieguez from Orange Rock Media. An avid computer enthusiast, Eduardo spends countless hours tinkering with electronics both new and old.