Best Practices To Use on Social Media During a Crisis

Let’s face it. In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing world, we use social media more and more to digest our news rather than traditional media. Nearly 67 percent of American adults rely on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat for news. So, when a crisis strikes, the information is at our fingertips at lightning speed.

 

News coverage 24/7 has transformed the way we seek and share information, but what does that mean for brands? If you ever find yourself in a crisis, take a deep breath, buckle-up, and get ready for the ride. Here are a few social media best practices when dealing with a crisis:

 

Have a plan.

Hopefully you’re reading this before disaster strikes and have time to proactively create a crisis action plan. This plan will help the team understand their roles during a crisis and allow them to be prepared for every scenario that could possibly go wrong with your brand. Don’t wait until something blows up; brainstorm with your team and list out any and all possible problems that could arise. You then have time to create well-written responses and a good plan of action no matter what comes your way.

 

Be quick to respond.

When crisis strikes, response time is everything. If possible, responding within the first hour of inquiries will help minimize confusion or speculation. Reference your crisis communication plan and draft a statement immediately, individualizing when possible. It’s easier to change the course of the conversation with a timely, heartfelt response rather than staying silent and looking suspicious.

 

Monitor in real-time.

Whether the entire team or just one person is in charge of the task, it is important to have someone dedicated to monitoring your social media 24/7. You can’t deal with a possible situation if you don’t know what is happening in real-time. Create Google Alerts for your company, product(s), and keywords related to your industry. Hootsuite and Sprout Social are also good tools to monitor social media mentions and engagements in real-time. Stop havoc before it happens, or turn your crisis into a win like Reese’s did with their #AllTreesAreBeautiful campaign.

 

I’m sure you’ve opened a Reese’s Peanut Butter Tree at Christmas and its looked a little off. Well, instead of shying away from the backlash, Reese’s launched its #AllTreesAreBeautiful ad campaign. With a bit of hard work, the ad campaign received more than 1 billion impressions. Their emotional and cultural relevance as a brand took off and made a huge impact.

 

Speak your audience’s language.

You use your brand’s voice on all forms of social media every other day of the year—don’t turn into a robot just because you’re in crisis mode. Be professional where it’s called for on platforms like LinkedIn and use a lighter voice with more imagery on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Each social media platform has its own tone, as does each brand. Adjust it with your audience in mind but stay true to who you are.

 

If you don’t already have a plan in place for handling a crisis of any magnitude, now is the time to create one, and Dittoe PR is here to help. Request a consultation with us today!

Brands, Here’s How to Get Started on Snapchat

Every morning, I sift through all my favorite apps: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Chive, Snapchat, and back to Facebook one more time for good measure. Before I’m even fully awake, I immerse myself in the online world. I know I’m not alone in doing so, as many memes reassure me of this.

So, it’s no surprise that social media drives consumer engagement and builds brand recognition. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are all great channels, but brands may be missing out if they aren’t taking advantage of Snapchat.

With a $16 billion valuation, Snapchat has more than 150 million daily users who spend an average of 25 to 30 minutes on the app every day. Naysayers will point out that Facebook has roughly 10 times as many daily active users, but those users spend less time on Facebook (20 minutes per day) and are responsible for just as many daily video views (8 billion) as Snapchat’s users.
Snapchat

As of June 2016, Snapchat has more active daily users than Twitter. Going from 110 million daily users in December to generating 40 million more in just six months, Snapchat is growing at a rapid pace.

Even hard-hitting news outlets like CNN and the Wall Street Journal have recognized the importance of a strong Snapchat presence, as it’s Snapchat it is a great way for them to reach a younger audience.

Now, if you’re a marketer targeting high-level decision makers at B2B companies, then Snapchat isn’t your best bet. But if you’re trying to reach a predominantly young market, between the ages of 13 and 34, then Snapchat may be a worthwhile investment.

Discover a Brand’s Lighter Side

Brands such as ESPN, Cosmopolitan and Daily Mail are fixtures on Snapchat’s Discover page. You tap on an outlet’s name (which displays their lead story) and a continuous stream of “My Stories” plays on a loop for 24 hours. As of June 7, the entire design layout of Discover was changed to a more visually pleasing and user-friendly display.

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Users can click on any of these outlets to see content published on a 24-hour cycle. These outlets publish content that’s unique to Snapchat, enabling them to bring some personality to their writing rather than just promoting hard-hitting news. Users can screenshot a funny photo then send it directly to a friend. It’s similar to sending a text with a caption saying, “Hey I saw this cute dog and needed you to see it.” Photos like the one below from the Discover brands are sent by users to their friends through Snapchat’s direct messaging feature.

Users are also encouraged to personalize brands’ snaps by drawing lines or adding their own phrases, essentially making it their own before sharing directly with their Snapchat friends.

Interacting with a brand’s “My Story” is like a mini game to people. By allowing users to personalize the content, it helps the brand break through the clutter of static online ads.

Also, because each photo or “My Story” only lasts 24 hours, users have an increased sense of urgency to share those moments with their friends and check back to the brand’s snapstory daily to see what else they can share.

Seeing Brands through Another Lens

Another unique Snapchat feature is the ability for businesses to create sponsored Snapchat Lenses. Snapchat said its users are including Lenses in about 10 million snaps per day. Lenses give users a way to augment selfies. These are often goofy animations that are overlaid on your selfie. One popular default Lens, which debuted when Lenses were first introduced, is a rainbow that pours out of your mouth. Snapchat adds new Lenses daily (there are only seven to choose from on any given day) and replaces the oldest one with newer ones. That means Lenses eventually disappear for good (again, creating a sense of urgency).

The most successful brand-sponsored Lens was Taco Bell’s recent campaign on Cinco de Mayo which transformed the user’s face into a giant taco. The Taco Bell taco filter was viewed more than 224 million times.

The fees Snapchat is asking advertisers to cough up are similarly hefty: $450,000 per day for Sunday to Thursday, $500,000 for Fridays and Saturdays, and $700,000 for holidays.

With the average person fiddling with the filter for around 24 seconds before snapping, it was essentially a 24-second commercial for Taco Bell. Considering Taco Bell’s Lens lasted 24 hours, the $750,000 price tag seems well worth the price of admission compared to a 30-second, non-interactive TV advertisement.

Get In-Demand with a Geofilter

Prices for the In-Demand Geofilters start out as low as $5 and vary based on the time, size and location of the campaign. You can choose spaces that are a minimum of 20,000 square feet — about the size of an average office — to a maximum of 5,000,000 square feet — roughly a few city blocks.

If you have an upcoming event, why not create a Geofilter that those attendees can snap to their friends? The intimacy and exclusivity of being able to use a specific Geofilter in a certain location drives FOMO (fear of missing out). When people are snapping with a creative Geofilter at an event, their friends want to come join to be able to use it as well.

People using your Geofilter essentially become brand ambassadors promoting your business  for free! Snapchat makes it simple to create a filter. There’s no need to be a design expert to make one. Follow these easy steps to create one for your company today.

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Get Snapping and Go Shopping

Consider the “right now” mentality people have. For example, if a retail store is looking to increase their Snapchat followers and promote their business, they can put sales/offers on their My Story that is shared withBlog Sammi everyone who follows them. On their other social media platforms, they post, “Check out our great deal only available for our Snapchat followers today!” By doing so, it drives potential followers to their Snapchat account. The store then continues on Snapchat promoting, “Show us you’re our Snapchat friend by showing our My Story to the cashier and receive a discount at the register!”

Reaching out to people directly makes your target audience feel like they got the inside scoop on an item before it goes public. With just one satisfied customer, the word-of-mouth endorsement is worth way more than any advertisement you could ever produce. This is also a way to help drive followers from your other social media channels, which can be hard to do. As a no-cost option, Snapchat can provide “sneak peeks” or a behind-the-scenes look at an event you’re hosting on your brand’s own snapstory. These short videos or photos give your followers the feeling that they are special and valued, generating additional brand loyalty.

Say More with a Snap

If a picture says a thousand words, imagine what a 10-second Snapchat video can portray quicker than a press release. Demonstrations and quick tips can be produced at little or no cost. You can be the expert in your field giving tips on what’s trending with your products and how to use them different ways.

Here’s an example of how a product like Magic Eraser could expand on its value proposition. Magic Eraser is known for cleaning bathtubs and dishes, but did you know it can also clean shoes, get rid of drink coaster stains and buff out scratch marks? If the brand had a presence on Snapchat, millions of people would be aware of how you can use this popular cleaning tool on other household items. Using Snapchat, a product can be expanded to reach a wider audience.

You might be thinking that Snapchat users wouldn’t spend their time looking at a brand’s My Story if it isn’t on the Discovery page, but you’d be wrong. Whenever a Snapchat user posts a My Story, their friends receive a notification which doesn’t go away unless it’s been viewed or the 24-hour time limit runs out. Most millennials, including myself, look at the My Story just to get rid of the purple notification on the bottom right corner of the screen.

Snapchat is no longer just for sending cute selfies. It’s about snapping a festival you’re attending with that location’s Geofilter. It’s about swapping your face with your BFF or your favorite celebrity. It’s about directly interacting with brands on an app. This multi-use platform is not being used to its full potential, and now is your time to get on board.

Be sure to check out @dittoepr to see a “day in the life” of a public relations professional.

How to Choose the Right Social Networks For Your Brand

Even though many companies use social media to promote their brand, there is still some doubt surrounding its viability. Am I seeing results from social media? Are we actually engaging with prospects? Why are we spending so much time on these networks?

These concerns are common, and some people will always be wary of social media. However, Forbes recently reported that the rising fad is here to stay and “the longer you wait, the more you have to lose.” Here’s a list of potential benefits your business could realize by using social media marketing:

  • Social MediaIncreased brand recognition
  • Improved brand loyalty
  • More opportunities to convert
  • Higher conversion rates
  • Higher brand authority
  • Increased inbound traffic
  • Decreased marketing costs
  • Better search engine rankings
  • Richer customer experiences
  • Improved customer insights

However, to use social media successfully, your brand must first understand how to use it, when to use it, and what platforms to use.

Companies should first align with their target market and choose networks accordingly. According to Buffer, a social media sharing software, it’s okay to be picky about which social networks your brand monitors. Some companies benefit from sharing more visuals while others may be better off sharing more textual or auditory updates. It all depends on the brand and its viewership.

Following are the most popular social networks and some tips for how to choose which ones will benefit your brand.

 

Facebook

With the highest amount of users and engagement, Facebook can be used to reach a very large network. However, Facebook is often used for socializing which could make it difficult to reach the desired audience. In order to target potential prospects, business pages need to be regularly updated with informational and interesting content for their target audience. If your company wants to advertise and reach a larger and more social crowd, create a Facebook page.

 

Twitter

Twitter has become a place to give and receive timely information. This network also allows businesses to carefully listen to their audience and respond when needed. For example, if a customer isn’t satisfied and they tweet the issue, it gives the business an opportunity to publicly respond and fix the problem, which provides a sense of trust and accountability. If your company likes to keep your audience educated and engaged, you should be active on Twitter.

 

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the social network for business professionals and is known for being a bit more serious. A LinkedIn account is ideal if your business is looking to provide industry-specific information, build relationships, and find new connections. It’s also a great place to find useful resources. To connect with other businesses or individuals, set up a LinkedIn company page.

 

Instagram

Instagram is a photo-sharing network, primarily used on mobile devices. This network currently has a much younger crowd, but it’s continuing to gain popularity in business world. If your business would benefit from sharing photos and images, Instagram is an easy and entertaining way to communicate to your target audience.

 

Google+

On Google+, you can upload and share pictures, videos, links, and even host video conferences. It also provides some search engine benefits. Your business can engage niche groups on this platform, providing unique, specialized value to your target market.

 

Bonus option: Blogging

While blogging isn’t exactly a social network, it is still a social platform. A social network is where people strictly go to socialize, like the options listed above. However, conversations are started on blogs and can create social benefits for your business as well. Consider encouraging comments on your blog posts or integrating Disqus so your blog can become a social hub as well.

 

Here at Dittoe Public Relations, we believe it’s not enough to just have a presence on social media—it’s about making that presence count. Contact us if you have any further questions or need assistance with managing  your company’s social sites.