Tag Archives: Social Media

Brands – think before you jump on the World Cup RTM bandwagon

We’ve seen a plethora of brands jump on the real-time marketing (RTM) bandwagon this summer already – fuelled by string of cultural and sporting events. The World Cup has a lot to answer for!

Wafflegate, aka USA vs Belgium, saw brand after brand say pretty much the same dumb thing. The Suarez Bite sparked an RTM frenzy with anyone and everyone attempting a witty response. Common sense, good taste (no pun intended) and brand principles all seemed to take the day off. Some brands clearly stretched themselves to get in on the act…but why?

Everyone ended up making the same lame joke. Instead of rising above the noise… they just created more of it. Some of them should have taken a leaf out of Oreo’s book and “gone dark”.

But perhaps, one of the worst RTM judgement calls of the World Cup so far has been KLM’s Adios Amigos tweet minutes after Netherlands knocked Mexico out. KLM have since apologised for causing offence – but it will take more than a tweet to undo the damage.

So what’s the learning? Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. When brands attempt to be culturally significant – at speed and in the moment – they must not do it at the expense of being strategic. Brands must know how far they are willing to go… and be prepared to stick to their guns when a tempting, but irrelevant, opportunity comes along.

For marketers, this requires an intrinsic understanding of your brand, confidence and empowerment to make tough decisions quickly and stamina. RTM isn’t really about supporting cultural or sporting events. It’s about being culturally relevant every day. That’s 24/7 365 days a year. That’s where you will find the right opportunities that work for your brand rather than competing against every other brand.

It means a dedicated, cross-functional and tightly knit team. It means a new operational approach and environment. It means opening up new partnerships and media opportunities (to help cut through some of that noise. It means having 24/7 access to the right insight, tools and data. It means taking chances (on the good bets) and a relentless commitment to moving the needle (on engagement) every day.

Some say RTM has already peaked, but it’s going to be around for a while (perhaps becoming the future status quo?) and we collectively need to get better at it!

By DMA guest blogger Pipa Unsworth, Chief Product Officer, Digitas LBi and DMA Agencies Council chair

We’ll explore these aspects of Real time marketing at our event in September. Come and find out from brands and agencies who are pioneering and leading the way. They’ll share their success, watch-outs and insights. It’s one event you shouldn’t miss.

Does Snapchat have a role in your engagement strategy?

It’s fast. It’s fun. It’s frivolous. But is it sensible to sprinkle a pinch of Snapchat magic into your marketing mix? It’s definitely worth investigating.

Snapchat posts hold the user’s attention with (at maximum) 10 second ‘self-destructing’ posts. So why should brands use Snapchat? In short, it’s light, it’s self-organising for users and, most importantly, it provides brands with a cash-light way to engage with the audience.

The fleeting nature of the posts is one of its main strengths. Think of the recipient. The Snapchat arrives. It needs to be actively opened. Its lifespan is tantalisingly short. This means there is a higher level of concentration and engagement. Ultimately, it forces the person consuming the content to actually give it the valuable seconds of attention it deserves − far more so compared with posting on a scrolling, passive newsfeed as experienced on Facebook or its photo-sharing cousin, Instagram. Snapchat gives you the opportunity to gain someone’s attention in a very noisy world.

This higher level of concentration required means it’s an ideal space for showcasing new products and deals. This is an opportunity that agile, early adopting brands have realised − giving rise to frequent ‘Snapchatting’ of discount codes, new products and offer deals.

Others have capitalised on Snapchat’s ephemeral nature that permits the ability to give posts a sense of exclusivity. MTV’s Geordie Shore showcased ‘exclusive’ highlights, both in picture and video form, of the upcoming 6th series – all the while reminding them to tune in to the upcoming series.

The main negative of the app, for marketing purposes, is the difficulty in tracking engagement from your posts. Currently, the app is yet to have an official way to manage and track users’ activity. Of course, you can still track engagement through the uptake of unique promotional codes.

The recent addition of Snapchat Stories has added more possibilities. It offers, in sporting parlance, extra time − 24 hours of viewing time to be precise. Now, through a series of posts, you can deepen your audience’s experience. There’s a tale to be told. A connection to be made. Suddenly Snapchat doesn’t seem so throwaway.

Stop press: Slingshot vs Snapchat
With news of Slingshot, Facebook’s own ephemeral app, launching this week. What does this mean for Snapchat and more widely, brands using instant photo-sharing platforms for marketing? Possibly quite a lot as at first glance.

Whereas Snapchat is more focused on 1-2-1 engagement, Slingshot isn’t. It encourages participation by only allowing you to view a message by sending one back, leading to a higher level of engagement that you have with Snapchats.

Also from a brand point of view it addresses a massive issue users have when sending to mass audience on Snapchat – it has a ‘select all’ button.

Watch this space.

By DMA guest blogger Ben Peachell, Marketing Executive, Indicia

This an edited version of a blog that first appeared on the Indicia website

Financial Services Supper Club: Having a social purpose and feeling ‘epic!’

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MoneySuperMarket’s Sharon Flaherty delivers the first Financial Services Supper Club talk

The inaugural DMA Financial Services Supper Club, in association with Social i Media, kicked off at The Portman Marylebone on Thursday 5 June 2014. If you couldn’t make this lively, informal and insightful event, here’s some of what you missed.

Sharon Flaherty, an expert and thought leader in content marketing, journalism, social media and PR, kicked off with a ‘political hot potato’: ”It will be interesting to see if you can make social work; no-one’s been able to yet.”

This led to a discussion of how financial services firms define success in social media – and the uncomfortable notion that a single sales-related KPI is unlikely to be fit for purpose.
Sharon then posed a no-nonsense question:

“Does your firm have a social purpose?”
Social purpose, she explained, meant defining something that you stand for, that gives people that ‘nudge’ to engage with you socially because there is genuinely something in it for them. This is quite different from the ‘how to’ and ‘why’ of a social media strategy and more akin to a mission statement that should act as a seam through all social content and activity.

Sharon then shared insights into how this social purpose was translated by MoneySuperMarket and (her former company) Confused.com in their social media approach, and how responsive content and hyper-personalisation is increasingly deployed.

The questions “What is your social problem?” and “What is social success for you?” informed the debate over a delicious three-course meal. The discussion spanned many hot topics for financial services, including:

• Financial regulation (particularly relating to Twitter)
• Data collection – and the challenge of different departments collaborating to use this effectively
• The changing nature of CRM (customer relationship management)
• Getting the mix of PPC (pay-per-click), SEO (search engine optimization) and organic content right
• Where’s the ‘line’ between timely, hyper-personalised marketing and ‘creepy’ corporate behavior?

Here are some of the top tweets of the night:

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Why join the Financial Services Supper Club?
It’s an informal space to hear from some of the best financial services marketers in the business, trailblazers with real-life case studies, sharing the trials and tribulations of marketing at the sharp end of the ‘New Normal’ in financial services.

• Informal, friendly atmosphere (Chatham-House rules for discussions)
• 3-course dinner included, hosted at a central London location
• Hear from – and put questions to – some of the most forward-thinking marketers in UK financial services
• A casual but stimulating environment to share industry best practice about digital and traditional media channels
• Follow and contribute to the conversation on Twitter, using #FSsupper

To find out about the next Financial Services Supper Club, contact Megan Hawkins.

If you work in financial services and have a case study you want to share or a topic you are burning to discuss, please get in touch: Anna.Lawlor@Social-i-Media.co.uk

By DMA guest blogger Anna Lawlor, financial journalist, content creator and co-director of Social i Media

6 social media monitoring tools are put to the test

Just under nine months ago, I ventured on a seemingly never-ending quest to find the Holy Grail of all social media monitoring (SMM) tools. Over the past few months, I have been carrying out detailed tests and analysis on six of the leading SMM tools. I’m delighted to report my quest is finally over and I now present you my thoughts and findings on all the tools I took for a test drive.

NetVibes
I found NetVibes worked more as a business intelligence dashboard vs. a social insight tool (which is what we wanted as an agency). This being the case, this tool was immediately dropped from our consideration list.

Overall rating: a limp 3/10

Meltwater Buzz
Meltwater has a simple interface and clean design which makes for easy navigation of your data. They also have a great ‘influencer’ module, so if your social strategy includes influencer outreach, Meltwater is a great tool to implement. The main downside was that sentiment is automated and cannot be edited. This meant that the data pulled back wasn’t that accurate and (sometimes) quite limited from an insight point of view.

Overall rating: an okayish 6/10

Radian6
First up, Radian6 is best for agencies if you’re trying to do community management. That aside, we were impressed by the tool’s flexibility: it’s possible to freely configure dashboards through a selection of widgets – which all have built-in filters and drill-down features, encouraging ad-hoc explorative analysis (big plus).

However, from a setup and insight perspective, Radian6 took me longer than other programs. The fact that every widget must be individually configured with keywords increases the manual workload and, by default, you can only access 30 days of historical data (then you start incurring extra costs).

Like Meltwater Buzz, Radian6’s sentiment analysis is automatic, but then again you’re able to override this, unlike Meltwater – but it’s still rather manual and time consuming.

Overall rating: an underperforming 5/10

Sysymos
Sysymos offer 2 products: Heartbeat and MAP. Heartbeat is designed for day-to-day monitoring and measurement requirements, while MAP provides an in-depth research tool, so we were more interested in MAP. Pros: it’s very user-friendly dashboard allows easy on-the-fly customisation; plus its ability to filter and segment data in a variety of different ways. Cons: Again, like Radian6 and Meltwater, Sysomos comes with automated sentiment analysis, and as you might have gathered from this post, I am a long-time cynic when it comes to this kind of feature.

Overall rating: an alright 6/10

Brandwatch
BrandWatch unifies several advantages of Sysomos and Radian6. It is as easy to use as Sysomos and delivers the best user interface of all tools reviewed, with flexible well-laid-out dashboards that you can easily piece together through a drag ’n’ drop system. The interface is great for comparing data sets (such as competitor sentiment) and has the best query writing features I’ve seen in any product on the market. They also allow unlimited users for the same yearly cost, which was a massive USP. The support team were also very helpful and most issues or questions are resolved almost the same day.

Overall rating: an impressive 8/10

Crimson Hexagon
Crimson unifies several advantages of Sysomos, BrandWatch and Radian such as theme, sentiment, demographic and influence analysis. But the key thing which differentiates this tool over all the others we tested was its ability to delve deeply into the voice of the customer and its increased accuracy.

Without getting to technical, Crimson is able to refine their results based on their context and content. In other words, semantic technology is able to understand the difference between “Crocs” the shoes or “crocs” the reptile – so you get much less irrelevant “noise”. This also means that the posts pulled in are 97% accurate vs. 70% of traditional keyword tools (note: most of the above tools are keyword based SMM tools).

Another great thing about Crimson is that you can go beyond traditional sentiment analysis − which measures whether a post is generally positive, or generally negative. Instead, you’re able to breakdown this sentiment into more refined categories and understand exactly what people think about a brand.

For example, when looking at why people love about a certain car, we could break down the positive sentiment into ‘reliability,’ ‘design/style,’ ‘safety’ and ‘tech’, which gave us a lot deeper, more accurate insights than keyword sentiment tools which basically just tells you the weighting of positive comments vs. negative or neutral.

Overall rating: a spectacular 9/10

Final verdict
All systems have strong qualities and when it comes to choosing your social media monitoring system, you will need to look specifically at your own needs. We decided to go with Crimson Hexagon for its deep data and in-depth tools that allow us to identify the granular data that our clients need. Do let us know what you think. After all, it’s a social world!

By DMA guest blogger Becky Heard, Integrated Planner, Indicia

This is an edited version of a blog that first appeared on the Indicia website

The Nouvelle Vague: social media link-baits won’t work forever

What I learnt about these headlines shocked me to my core. Here’s what you need to know.
Link-bait. We’ve all fallen victim to it at some point. Those links that are deliberately vague, yet subtly claim that they will somehow change our lives if we act on them. They leave us hanging and make us feel compelled to learn more – because as humans we just can’t help but be curious.

What makes it link-bait?
Link-bait is a term for links to content that are in some way deliberately provocative. I define link-bait as link copy that has been purposely written to target and exploit our natural curiosity. It’s a tease – often deliberately vague, whilst simultaneously claiming to offer great value to the reader. It is the opposite of the pursuit of clarity, often cited as a usability best practice, where the user knows what to expect when clicking a link.

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As well as being deliberately vague, link-bait often employs devices such as:

  • Outlandish claims about the emotional power of the content (…if you don’t cry when you read this, then you’re not human).
  • Implying that something wholly unexpected happened (…and what happened next blew my mind).
  • Lists with attention focused on a particular item (25 examples of awesome cats. Number 7 is my favourite – WOW!).
  • A two-part narrative (this seemingly unimportant event happened. But actually, it was completely life-changing).
  • Implying that your current view of the world will be challenged by what you read (hint: it’s not what you think).
  • That the content is somehow unmissable, thus triggering our ‘fear of missing out’ (here’s what you need to know…).
  • Use of timeliness to instill a sense of urgency in the reader (…and we don’t have long to stop them).

Curiosity killed the @
By exploiting our natural weakness for curiosity and our desire to get answers, click-bait gets our attention, which means it’s fast becoming the de facto language for publishers on social media. On spaces like Facebook, where attention spans are short and the desire for content to get noticed (and shared) is high, feeds have become flooded with link-bait.

Whereas tabloid newspapers learnt that headlines such as ‘FREDDIE STARR ATE MY HAMSTER’ sells copies of The Sun, it seems that publishers on Facebook (Upworthy, Huffington Post, Sumofus, Buzzfeed, Viral Nova et al) have found that ‘I can’t believe what this celebrity did. You won’t either. (Hint: it’s not what you think)’ works for them.
But why do we find these vague links so hard to resist?

Feeding our dopamine
As a species, it’s our inherent curiosity that’s taken us from cave dwellers to landing on the moon and exploring the depths of the oceans. Dopamine in our brains causes us to want, desire, seek out, and search – it’s a chemical that compels us be curious. Dopamine has been the key to our evolutionary success, keeping us motivated to explore our world, learn and survive. It’s this same chemical that means that we can’t resist the dangling carrot of click-bait.

Dopamine has made us a species addicted to seeking information, so grazing Facebook and finding intriguing links, which we can quickly consume, share, and forget about, is the perfect dopamine-enhanced experience. Dopamine is so motivating, and clicking links is so easy, that often we’d rather click and know what a link is about, even if we are already pretty certain that it doesn’t interest us.

Our dopamine system is further stimulated by unpredictability, so giving a vague description of what the link is about sends our brains into dopamine overdrive. Brain scan research shows that our brains are more stimulated by anticipating a reward than actually receiving a reward. When we see link-bait we get a big dopamine hit trying to guess what it is, and quickly move on and forget about it having clicked and learnt what the link was actually for.

Add to this an emotional hook (‘This shocked me to my core’, ‘If you don’t cry when you read this, then you’re not human’, etc.), and we can’t help clicking.

It’s no wonder that for a lot of publishers, being vague is now seen as a key part of their formula for creating the perfect viral content.

Crying wolf
Link-bait gets clicks. Because of this, it’s becoming more and more prevalent, particularly on social media feeds such as Facebook. To get noticed, publishers are making more and more outlandish claims about the power of their content. It feels like a race to the bottom, but no matter how driven by dopamine we might be, as consumers, we aren’t stupid. If clicking that link doesn’t give us value, we will stop clicking.

Often mocked content publishers Upworthy point out that although they optimise their headlines to the nth degree, it’s the quality of the content that is the real key to their success – people just really like it. After all, the real success of content marketing is getting shares, not just clicks. Yes, we might click to see what the story is actually about, but we will only share if it’s great content.

For me it seems a shame; great content shouldn’t have to rely on cheap tricks to get noticed. ‘Vaguebooking’, an intentionally vague Facebook update that is used to get attention, is regarded as a social media faux pas, purely because it is annoying. In the same way, this vague style of copywriting has an air of cheap desperation about it.

It’s worth noting that, to my knowledge, this strategy hasn’t been employed by any ‘quality’ publishers such as the BBC, Guardian, Telegraph and so on. Maybe it does suit Buzzfeed’s latest list of funny cats, or a trashy opinion piece on the Huffington Post – but does it suit your brand? How you communicate plays a big role in how users perceive your brand.

In the long run, I don’t see the current trend for link-bait as being sustainable, because once the technique reaches critical mass and every publisher is doing it, publishers will no doubt move on from link-bait in order to get noticed again. Perhaps publishers will simply have made too many claims on how amazing their content is, and consumers will stop believing it and clicking. Ultimately, link-bait is just one way to ensnare our interest for a brief moment, in a world where attention spans are forever getting shorter.

Whatever happens, great content will always be shared and enjoyed. In the meantime, look out for those vague links in your Facebook feed, and see which ones get your dopamine levels buzzing.

By DMA guest blogger James Reece, Senior UX Specialist, The Real Adventure 

Is your business ready to handle a social media crisis?

Reputation, reputation, reputation – hard won and the life blood of a brand it is easily tarnished (even destroyed) during a social media crisis.

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Yet in a recent poll conducted by the DMA almost 60% of businesses were not confident that they were equipped to handle a social media crisis.

This means that for many brands the test of that reputation and their ability to handle consumer unrest will be played out in the real world and in real time with no certainty of success.

Today I attended the DMA’s social media crisis workshop. I and a team of social media experts played out a crisis scenario with crushingly disappointing results. As the adrenaline increased our decision-making abilities declined and it became increasingly clear that we were not equipped to handle the crisis that ensued.

Thankfully it was not a real situation – we didn’t tarnish a real brand’s reputation. What we learnt was a salutary lesson in preparation and planning summarised by Tamara Littleton’s (CEO of polpeo) 8 golden rules of crisis management:

1. Speed – be ready to react to an event. As a rule of thumb you have less than half an hour to respond on Facebook and 15 minutes on twitter to stay in control.

2. Strategy – have a signed-off approach to typical scenarios with an understanding of the implication of typical actions.

3. Know your roles – ensure the response team is known across the business and a leader has been identified.

4. Take control – it’s your brand and your reputation, don’t become paralysed by bureaucracy.

5. Stay calm – don’t be goaded. Spot the signs that individuals need a break.

6. Remember your tone of voice and flex it to suit the channel you are using – corporate speak on Facebook just won’t work.

7. Choose your battles wisely – be confident to decide when to respond and when to ignore.

8. Collaborate – you will make better decisions as a team and can share the effort across every platform.

No brand is exempt from a potential crisis – who would have thought that Greenpeace would target Waitrose or pink pens could be so inflammatory for Bic? The challenge is to be ready and rehearsed – only then can you turn a crisis into a success.

By DMA guest blogger Julie Atherton, Chief Strategy Officer, Indicia and DMA Social Media Council member

The DMA’s Social media crisis workshop was facilitated by Polpeo and supported by expert advice from: Tamara Littleton – polpeo, Keith Ashby and John Haggis (Sheridans Solicitors), George Ioannou (Digital &Wise)

For more information on preparing for a social media crisis, download the DMA white paper here.

The 7 social media trends dominating 2014/2015

Five years ago, there was no Vine, Instagram or Snapchat. There wasn’t even Pinterest. In fact, in 2009 Facebook had just created the “Like”-Button and MySpace was still the second most popular social network.

Since then, social media has come a long way. A recent study states that one fourth of the world’s population uses social media. This means that 1,730,000,000 people are posting, pinning, tweeting, vining, instagraming: Every 60 seconds 20,000 pictures are uploaded on Tumblr; 104,000 pictures are shared on Snapchat; 2,460,000 posts are sent on Facebook. So not only is there a greater diversity of social platforms, there are also more people using them.

Naturally, this phenomenon has greatly affected business: What was considered best practice five years ago, is not good enough for marketers in 2014.

Implications for business
Considering the sea of social networks and the millions of people using them, brands nowadays can’t just hop on Facebook: They have to make informed decisions about which networks to invest their financial and personnel resources in to achieve the best results. Social media is no longer about following the masses, it’s about following your target audience.

The explosion of networks and users inevitably led to an exponential growth of user data, which entails unthinkable potential, but left marketers rather puzzled. A major challenge which arose for companies over the last five years is to collect, analyse, and interpret the data, and in 2014, companies have still only scratched the surface.

If marketers want to succeed, they need a coherent and engaging content strategy with compelling visuals and authentic stories. It’s tough out there, 2014 will see the already competitive environment step it up a notch, improving on last year’s campaigns; take WaterisLife’s #FirstWorldProblems-campaign as an example, or the highly successful Share a Coke with…campaign.

And while brands were busy creating outstanding campaigns, users themselves became more confident in interacting with big companies, generating both positive and negative buzz.

Mostly due to Twitter, the barriers between powerful corporations and the common user were broken down and we’ve seen numerous examples of the public venting their anger online, making individuals’ and brands’ lives a living hell.

Social media trends 2014/2015: conquering land
Retrospectively, some brands faced rough times. While some failed and some succeeded, we’re still all in the same boat, trying to steer social media. And if we want to conquer land, we have to stay on top of things and see the bigger context.

These are the 7 trends I see dominating 2014/2015:

1. Content marketing
It’s been a hot topic for the past couple of months, we’ve probably all had enough of this buzzword. But 2014 will be the year we professionalise our approach and brands will learn to tell truly captivating and beautifully crafted stories that centre around the user, and not the product.

2. Real-time marketing
If Oreo’s “Dunk in the Dark” tweet during the Super Bowl 2013 taught us one thing, it’s that real-time marketing is the future. Real-time marketing as in: monitoring trends on both a large, general and a small, audience-targeted scale, every minute of every day.

3. Audio-visual content
Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat – all of these networks foresaw the significance of visual content and reacted accordingly. We will see a sharp rise in pictures, graphics and micro-clips, but not all visual content will be relevant, targeted and sophisticated visuals will dominate the scene.

4. The revolution of mobile
With a worldwide mobile penetration of 93%, optimised web- and social media sites will become the norm and geo-targeted, contextualised real-time content will become an indispensable component in every digital marketing strategy.

5. Be prepared to pay
Be prepared to invest more of your budget in social advertising. Social media is a gold mine and with the recent developments (Facebook’s algorithm changes, Twitter’s IPO, the introduction of Instagram ads, promoted pins, and so on) this trend is likely to stay around.

6. Google Plus
So far, Google Plus is mainly a hub for digital & tech minded people. But despite Google’s desperate and so far rather doomed attempts to further popularise its social networking service, companies don’t have a choice but to join, if they want to improve their SEO and remain relevant in Search.

7. Anonymity
Though progress in terms of big data, wearable tech and the internet of things pushes the boundaries of people’s perceptions of privacy, anonymous social media will find its place. The only question that remains is in how far people’s need for anonymity can challenge the tech giants dominating the field.

What are your thoughts on the recent developments? Feel free to leave a comment, I’d love to hear your opinion on this topic!

By DMA guest blogger, Jacqueline Woerner Social Media Manager Emarsys 

Where does social media sit in organisations?

It’s one of the original social media debates, but the question of which department ‘owns’ social media is one which few organisations have yet to completely resolve.

Most commonly it sits under the marketing and/or PR banner. Social media is seen as a logical extension of traditional marketing and PR activities – whether it’s supporting specific campaigns, product launches or broadcasting corporate messages. These teams probably created the brand guidelines and defined the organisation’s tone of voice, so are comfortable to take that engagement on to social media. They are aware of what communications are ‘safe’ to broadcast and how to respond to tricky questions or deflect potential gaffes.

But as social media gains a stronger foothold in companies, and its audience and influence expands, more departments – and some CEOs – have questioned where social media sits strategically.

The dangers of keeping social media management in any single team means that its impact and results will be measured on that team’s objectives alone. So a successful Facebook competition could mean a boost for product sales; a dedicated customer service Twitter account could increase the number of customer queries solved; an effective recruitment drive on LinkedIn could cut recruitment costs. But single initiatives miss out the bigger picture.

Clearly the social media strategy should be owned by one person or one team. That could be a social media director who reports to the CEO, or the marketing team – inevitably this will differ according to the organisation and buy-in for social media at board level.

Regardless of whether your company has one person responsible for social media, or 10, social media needs to touch all departments – marketing, PR, HR, legal, IT, sales, customer service – in an organisation and to be aligned to its overall objectives.

So how do companies do that?

It’s a simple step to create a virtual social media team or task force from across the company, who are happy to help create and inform your strategy, and then go out and deliver it.

social-media-pyramid

Making your organisation more social
The quickest way to do this is to see who in your organisation is already active on social media and identify potential social media ambassadors across different departments.  There are various approaches to take with this, but a good starting point is: one by channel, the other by content.

Choosing by channel expertise
This could be people who are already active on a specific social media channel, such as your HR team on LinkedIn, for instance. Even if they just currently use the channel for recruitment, they could develop their expertise further by joining and posting to relevant LinkedIn Groups.

If your company produces videos or podcasts of your CEO’s latest speech, it’s likely that your PR team knows its way around YouTube. They could train some of your IT or sales team on the channel so they can post helpful ‘how-to’ videos about your products and services.

Choosing by content and department expertise
Maybe you have a star salesman who knows your product catalogue inside out. Can he or she produce a hints and tips blog or host a Twitter Q&A? Is one of your board members a regular speaker at industry events? If he or she is a charismatic communicator, get them to share their best ideas on social.

Do you have a customer service team who run social media channels dedicated to solving queries and handling complaints? These front line staff know the importance of a rapid response on social. They can help define your wider team’s SLAs.

Don’t forget your legal team either. Your lawyers will be hot on any potential reputation issues and can advise your social media team on policy and help monitor your company’s online presence. You’ll need them on board in case your brand ever faces a social media storm.

Co-ordinating a response in a crisis
If a crisis does break across your social media channels, you will need a fast and tightly co-ordinated response across your organisation. Some of the potential scenarios to consider are as follows:

  • PR and corporate comms: are there any damaging short- or long-term repercussions to the brand – locally and globally?
  • Legal and finance: could the company’s share price be affected?
  • HR: are you able to take back ownership of the company’s Twitter account if a rogue employee has hijacked it?
  • Sales and marketing: do your teams need to cancel a campaign or product launch that may be insensitive and badly timed
  • Customer services: will there be a higher volume of complaints across all your social media – including dedicated customer services channels?

Social-media-circle

However you choose to build your team and define your strategy, it’s clear that social media needs to sit across all departments in your organisation if your brand wants to communicate clearly, especially if or when a crisis hits.

By DMA guest blogger Adrienne Grubb, Head of Marketing, eModeration and DMA Social Media Council member

Join us for a live crisis simulation at the DMA’s Social media crisis workshop on  22 May 2014.