Twitter Tips from Edudemic
Social Media is booming right now. Everyone wants to be able to get a piece of the pie and be able to use it beneficially. Social media is all about engaging the audience and gaining consumer interest levels. Twitter is a great fun way for corporations to achieve this support and gain a following. However, corporations must be careful about the way they employ their marketing tactics as to not create a social media disaster.
In order for corporations to be successful in a Twitter campaign they must be willing to follow these three simple rules:
1. Be Proactive & Responsive
Twitter as a platform is intended to have a very high reaction times. Some people tweet something new every two minutes. If a corporation is moving at the same speed they are bound to be left in the dust and miss critical warning signs of preventable disasters. Whoever is delegated the task of tweeting must be proactive and able to foresee these dangers. This person must be on Twitter constantly, following trends, tweeting celebrities gain maintaining relationships with the audience.
2. Designated Tweeters & Guidelines
As mentioned above, the tweeter for an organization must have a special set of characteristics. Assigning this duty to the intern is not a smart move. Interns can be insecure, less educated and wary of responding to the audience. Also as mentioned above, corporations cannot risk slow response times therefore this task must be passed to someone who has the drive and enthusiasm for it. Selecting the right person for this job is critical. Depending on the size of the corporation and following, having a handful of designated tweeters all with the same criteria and similar attitudes is important.
3. Offer Incentives/Host Contests
Twitter is meant to be quick, fun and conversational. The best way to gain a following of any corporation is to promote the brand in a fun light. Offering incentives can be one of the easiest ways to do this. People love free stuff! Holding contests where the goal is to have a trend started or a large amount of people tweeting about the organization is ingenious. Not only does the organization gain exposure but they take on a fun, likeable personality.
If these rules are followed and a crisis still occurs, I think the best policy tends to be honesty. In the society we live in today we are always in contact and very public about our feelings. In order to avoid name calling and badmouthing, coming clean about the situation is best. When a corporation admits fault they are seen in a much more humanistic light. At this point they are no longer just a corporation but instead can be seen as a person that made a mistake. Full disclosure can be seen as risky but in most cases yields the best results.
Susan G. Komen supporters are Protesting
A few weeks ago, Susan G. Komen for the Cure was thrown into a whirlwind of publicity. A decision had been made to drop funding to Planned Parenthood due to a policy the organization has about funding programs with ongoing investigations. This decision was made on a Tuesday and two days later, the decision to no longer support Planned Parenthood had been reversed. This reversal was due to a public backlash and intense usage of social networking. Women all over the country were upset about Susan G. Komen withdrawing funding to a program that helps women. Many critics said that it was hypocritical for Susan G. Komen to have ever made such a decision because their main goal is to save women and it would be going against their morals. The decision to withdraw from Planned Parenthood put Susan G. Komen in the spotlight for political debate. In order to save face and maintain their supporters, there was no option other than reversing their decision.
In diagnosing their repair strategy it’s obvious that Susan G. Komen chose two paths to redeem themselves. The organization definitely used the “good intentions” tactic as well as “apology”. I think they mainly used apology and this is for obvious reasons. Apology is defined as when the “crisis manager indicates the organization takes full responsibility for the crisis and asks stakeholders for forgiveness”. They wanted to apologize to all the supporters and friends they have gained over the years and they needed to begin to win back their trust. Susan G. Komen’s founder, Nancy Brinker, issued a public apology. I also think they used a little bit of the “good intentions” tactic. This repair strategy is defined as meaning to do well. The only excuse I have been able to find is that Susan G. Komen had in their policy to cut funding if a partner of theirs was under investigation. It was pretty vague but that is in my opinion a weak excuse and they are attempting to use it as a positive because they were just following their own rules.
All in all, I think that Susan G. Komen did they best they could with the card they were dealt. Ideally, they never should have cut funding and they should have foreseen that the issue would be taken politically and be read into. I think that issuing a public apology was the best option at that point because when an organization can admit its own faults, I believe they have the best chance at winning back their audience over time.
Susan G. Komen cartoon
The Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, has been created with the intentions of enforcing stricter laws on online trafficking and piracy. If something like SOPA were passed, many websites such as Google, Facebook and YouTube would be forced to shut down. This is because they operate solely on the idea of sharing intellectual ideas of individuals. The ability to upload personal videos, comments and share music is what has allowed to Internet to grow so rampantly. Most people are opposed to the idea of SOPA and that leaves a major issue for the PR practitioners who must defend it.
SOPA has been created to not only place governmental control over the Internet but also to please the Hollywood/Music industry. Hollywood has since lost the battle in a sense but I don’t think they are ready to give up just yet. The two publics Hollywood’s PR practitioners must focus on and win over are college students and Silicon Valley head honchos, more specifically the owners and operators of Google, YouTube and Facebook.
I believe the main issue to be solved is getting both publics to understand the goals of SOPA. If it is explained to them in a manner where they do not feel violated or that their rights about being stripped from under then I believe the process will go a lot smoother. The arguments to defend SOPA are valid and public relations just need to get college students and Silicon Valley to see them. Online piracy takes away the financial gain of the individuals who created the art. Not online does it take away credit where credit is due but it also makes the reach of their product difficult to measure. Agencies are artists are robbed of their dues every time their product is downloaded illegally. It’s like letting people run wild in a city and just break into any store they want and take what they please. SOPA’s intention is also to cut out wholesale and resellers. This is huge. It’s the same situation for fashion designers as it is the music industry. People are out there making a killing off of a fake Louis Vuitton purse. Not only are they making too much money for a half assed product but also they are potentially damaging Louis Vuitton’s brand image. How? Say you buy the purse off EBay and don’t realize it’s fake. Two weeks later the handle falls off and you jump on Louis Vuitton’s Facebook cursing them for their cheaply made product. Then the issue falls to LV’s public relations to fix an issue that never should have been, all at the expense of a wholesaler.
Another point PR should focus on is the importance of giving credit where credit is due. Music artists and actors work hard for hours upon hours and sometimes years to produce the intellectual products we enjoy viewing. I believe if things are appropriately put into perspective for college students that they may be more willingly to listen and ultimately support the decision of stopping online piracy. Conveying to them its like working for free may be an effective tactic. SOPA’s intention of not shutting down the internet but simply shutting down the abusers of it needs to be expressed.
Ultimately, I believe that a combination of advertising and public relations should be used to tackle the issue at hand. Advertising could be beneficial because its main purpose is to get to the heart of the problem and pull at the heartstrings of its viewers. I believe with the right campaign designed advertising could be successful in this situation at least in gaining knowledge and awareness. However, PR can’t sit back in this situation at all. PR needs to be up front fighting the demons and putting a focus on damage control.