Many business leaders would say that handling a PR crisis is an eventuality. But in today’s always-on world of social media and brand communications, what is already a crisis can get out of hand very easily.
The solution may be to leverage social media to get out messages that take control of the situation and give brands a fighting chance to recover quickly. For example, after the incident in which two black men were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks, CEO Kevin Johnson apologized in a video shared across the brand’s online platforms.
For more ideas on swiftly getting in front of a crisis, we asked members of Young Entrepreneur Council to share tips on how to handle a PR crisis on social media.
1. Share a CTA
Inevitably, all corporations and businesses will have issues arise. Social media has given us a great platform to address these issues head on directly to our clients and customers. What lacks from many public apologies is a call to action. At the end of your video, you should offer some sort of call to action, such as a discount or coupon. Chipotle did this very well in 2017
2. Get Ahead of the Story
The first thing a brand can do to leverage social media is to immediately roll out an official statement regarding its position on the matter. Waiting more than a few hours can allow the media and the social universe to create and carry the narrative. After broadcasting their position, brands should be the first in line to create a public forum for ideas and discussion on addressing these issues.
3. Watch for Warning Signs
One of the keys to effective crisis management on social media is to be highly vigilant when it comes to complaints and controversy before it escalates. Social media can be very effective for getting your brand’s message out there quickly. It’s also likely the first place you will know of potential issues. Consider a media monitoring tool with alerts.
4. Be Authentic
Although it’s not something any brand wants to happen, the reality is that mistakes are made. At the end of the day, people want to see authenticity. They want to know that there are real, genuine people behind the brands and that they’re willing to take ownership of these mistakes. The key is to react quickly and take responsibility for the mistake.
5. Be Prepared
Social media is a wild environment and when an incident goes viral at scale, it can be almost impossible to control public opinion. Focus on addressing the issue in the best possible way and hope you’ll be judged as fair by the populace.
6. Stream Live on Facebook
Streaming live on Facebook offers a level of authenticity where the message cannot be edited or manipulated in any way. It also offers you the advantage of controlling the narrative of a PR crisis. It’s like tweeting with video.
7. Be Proactive
Every company needs a proactive approach to leveraging social media for crisis management. Proactive measures begin with smarter hiring decisions, continue through training for all levels of staff on professional social media usage and inform what it means to be a front-lines ambassador for the brand. Reactions to negative PR always lack authenticity. Showing staff that your company thinks proactively minimizes risk.
8. Handle Issues with Immediacy
Social media creates a rise in the sense of urgency, allowing you to streamline past the agenda of traditional media outlets. Live streams can be utilized for press conferences that have high urgency and need further reach.
9. Hold an Ask-Me-Anything Session
While live streaming may be an effective way to transparently connect to the public during a crisis, it isn’t always the best way to get on top of a developing crisis. Instead, aim for a form of communication that still allows for some control. An AMA (ask me anything) through Reddit is an excellent compromise between control and intimacy that can be helpful for navigating PR crises.
10. Own the Mistake
Fighting it on social media tends to add more fuel to the fire, unless you’re completely in the right. But in most cases, just owning up to something results in little downside and potentially averts a major PR disaster. There are countless examples of companies handling it the wrong way and sparking even larger outrage.
11. Hold Yourself Accountable
The public has less and less tolerance for anyone, whether they’re politicians or CEOs, trying to avoid responsibility. So the number one thing is to admit when you’ve made a mistake and apologize in a way that’s sincere. Then do what you can to make things right. It’s even better to create a positive and cohesive company culture so you avoid having problems like this in the first place.
Protecting Your Brand when a PR Disaster Strikes!
No one ever wants to deal with a media or PR disaster, but when they happen… they happen. The difference between those who can make it through these disasters are those who are prepared and are already well ranked in the search results. Follow these tips to make sure your brand and business is well protected online.
What You Need to Know About Influencer Marketing in 2019
With the pervasiveness of the internet, online advertising becomes profitable both for small and large businesses to attract consumers, compared to traditional media in the past five years. Online advertising revenues in the US rose by 22%, to a record of $72.5 billion, surpassing TV ads ($69 billion) in 2016.
An average person is exposed to over 1,700 online ads each month, but only half of them are actually viewed. The use of ad-block applications also rose by 30% in 2016. Consumers today have become immune to ads. They don’t take what brands are telling them at face value and prefer trustworthy sources – a trusted friend, family member, expert or social media influencer.
They rely on these sources before making purchase decisions to seek assurance of a good quality or experience. A research from Nielsen confirmed that recommendations from close peers or family are the most trusted source of information, rather than company websites, consumer reviews, and editorial articles.
This leads to the rise of influencer marketing. Influencers are considered to be credible because of their expertise in a specific subject matter and their ability to engage with their followers. Thus, brands can capitalize on this by using influencers to reach the consumers on social media platforms – where internet users spend most of their time.
In 2017, 71% of internet users are using social media platforms and these figures are expected to grow in the future. Social media has become the channel where influencers connect with consumers.
The most popular platforms for influencer marketing are Instagram and Youtube. According to Goldmedia, sponsored content from both platforms accounted for 34% and 31% of total influencers respectively.
Shifting to Top Tech Influencers
Huawei Mobile, a global provider of smart devices, partnered with a top tech influencer, Judner Aura to introduce the new Mate 10 Pro smartphone by giving an in-depth review of the phone on his Youtube Channel (UrAvgConsumer).
His Youtube channel has the most viewed technology product reviews of all time, with some of his most popular videos generating around 1 million views. The fact that he is extremely well-known for his knowledge of consumer-tech products makes his reviews credible. Thus, influencers like Judner Aura act as a guide that followers turn to before pulling the trigger.
Retail Chains Turn to Fashion Bloggers
H&M utilized Instagram to target young consumers, with its 700 million monthly users ranging from 16-24 years old. A research showed that 85% of Gen Z uses social media platforms to learn about new products and is more receptive to product information on social media.
To promote its H&M Divided Collection, H&M partnered with fashion bloggers, Julie Sarniana and Megan Ellaby on Instagram, resulting in a huge spike in followers just moments after the post was uploaded.
According to 2017 ShareIQ analysis, H&M generated 39 million Instagram engagements from just 486 posts and 20 times higher engagement than its competitors. Since then, H&M has been a strong performer on social media platforms, joining forces with fashion bloggers, style bloggers, models, and other fashionistas.
Joining forces with influencers are effective because it leads to building a brand’s credibility since they specialize in a particular category of content. Take advantage of their recommendations, testimonials, product reviews, and commentaries to attract consumers on social media platforms.
40% of respondents mentioned that they made a purchase after seeing a social media influencers using the product or service. Influencer marketing is a worthwhile investment and if you plan to increase your budget for influencer marketing for your business, make sure to check out the infographic below.
A Fool-Proof Formula to Creating Original Content for Social Media
You are doing a great job of posting on social media every day, and some people appear to be liking your content. So, you’re good to go, right?
Research shows that 60% of today’s marketers generate at least a single piece of online content every day, which may include blogs or social media posts. However, not all social media content in particular is equal when it comes to quality.
Social media is an essential part of any digital marketing campaign. Here are a few fool-proof tips for creating sharable original content on social media from one day to the next.
Let’s jump in!
Tell Stories to Generate Original Content on Social Media
Anybody can find commonly used inspirational quotes in his or her industry and post them on their own social media pages. That’s easy.
However, not all people can effectively share firsthand accounts of events in their respective industries that taught them something and perhaps even changed their lives.
If you’d like to produce content around topics that are heavily saturated on social media, it’s paramount that you do something totally unique by telling stories.
If you provide your own input and give your post an original flavor readers can’t find elsewhere on social media, you’ve got winning original content.
Constantly Gather New Ideas
A challenge that many brands face is that they are closed in how they approach to social media marketing.
For instance, perhaps you look at the creation of social media content as a task that takes place within a certain time slot. Outside of this allotted time, you don’t give attention to your content. With time sensitivity aways being of concern, a great way to take advantage of social media and being in the moment, it to focus on Instagram hashtags. With hundreds of millions of users on the platform at any given time, this is a great way to reach a ton of users for free, while also ranking in their platform for what’s happening at any given moment.
If you’re serious about creating successful original content, you’ve got to think differently about when you post on social media. Instead, it’s important that you gather ideas 24-7.
For instance, whether you’re going to a movie at night with your significant other or you’re getting the kids ready for school in the morning, your brain should be wired such that you constantly look for fresh ideas for your social media content.
You could even use these ideas as inspiration for the messages you share as part of your short message service, or SMS, marketing strategy. (View here for tips about what and what not do in the area of SMS marketing, based on a real-world example.)
Take the Visual Route
Words are indeed powerful, but pictures are even more memorable and engaging.
So, if you’d like to create content that grabs your readers’ attention on congested social media news feeds, go visual. That means posting stimulating photos with your written content or even posting video to engage with your target audience on a personal level.
How We Can Help
In addition to highlighting about how to create original content for social media, we offer a wide range of tips and resources on creating effective blogs that generate results.
We understand that online marketing as a whole is quite competitive. In fact, you could say that trying to get your voice to stand out online is a lot like trying to scream louder than everyone else in a crowd of 10,000 people.
Yes, it’s hard, but it’s not impossible with the right tools.
Get in touch with us to find out more about how you can generate online marketing content that people actually want to read, and that will motivate them to purchase your offerings time and time again.
7 Quick Tips on How to Keep Your Instagram Page Interesting
Overwhelmed with a lot of great Instagram profiles popping up like daisies? I don’t blame you. With Instagram becoming a saturated space, about a billion active users, it’s tough competition to get your followers to stay interested. You can’t afford to be complacent even when you’re confident you have a great following.
The preferences and priorities of your followers change as they go through these fast-paced times influenced by mass media and technology. Keeping them happy and engaged increases the probability that they are here to stay.
Instagram is designed to showcase eye-pleasing photos. So use this to your advantage — high-quality, energized and dramatic images are a way to catch your audience’s attention. Use photo editing software or apps that offer a variety of creative filters. Caption photos that tell a curious story and stir positive reactions. Excitement. Nostalgia. Tapping into your audience through emotions builds a connection.
Sometimes things can get boring when you run out of ideas to create, that you just make do with a lazy topic. Try to breathe new life into reliable old posts or topics that may be relevant to your audience or the brand you are promoting. The content should offer something unique or add value to your followers. Every post should give to your audience a take-away to think about or something of use. They will learn to rely on your every post since they can relate to it relative to their everyday lives.
Effective content curation is a way that can get you to network online, as you are sharing relevant sourced content that you are using to increase your brand’s visibility. This means a higher chance of getting your brand out there, which equates to more potential likes and followers. If you want to increase visibility, buying Instagram likes can help you get ahead. The more likes you get, the more traffic you get. A win-win situation if you ask me!
Play with Trends
Admit it, it’s fun to join in on the latest hype or even crazy meme to make things lighter and more entertaining. Novel ideas spark interest and build even more ideas and dialogue. We are curious beings and new things, or even old things seen in a new light, are always great conversation starters. The more you get your audience interested, the more they will understand that your brand is keen on providing current and fresh concepts.
Following the Big Name Brands
One of the most effective ways to keep your own social media profiles and updates relevant and interesting is to keep an eye on the big players in your industry. It doesn’t matter if you are an e-commerce company, selling ads online, or even just posting pictures of the latest fashion — it’s important to know what your competition is posting, so you can not only get inspired by their promotions — but also get determined to do it even better! Follow the big name brands and most followed Instagrammers in your niche space to see what others are liking and sharing the most.
Engage in Debates
You can’t please everybody. There’s bound to be that one commenter who will think otherwise. It’s a great opportunity for you to get involved and comment back. It sends a message that you are in touch with your followers and not a snob. Just remember to keep the vibe positive and conversation healthy. Keep it classy!
Listen to Your Followers
So, you’ve established your brand and the kind of content you wish to sustain and build. There may be times when you’re so focused on getting your brand noticed, you’re set to base everything on your decisions. You forget your audience has a voice too. Don’t become one-sided. Feature them in your posts. Give back. Take the time to know and understand the needs or preferences of your audience but still keep true to your brand. Be receptive. Be flexible.
It’s a challenging feat to take on. But if your passion is blogging and getting satisfaction from seeing your followers happy, then keeping them interested will come naturally to you.
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