The risk of avoiding social media
Risks – we deal with them every day. The trouble with risks is we tend to identify them and avoid them completely. Why risk it, right? This is one of the biggest pitfalls you can make as an organisation when it comes to the risk of entering the social media space. Yes, social media has its risks but, the good news is, all those risks are manageable.
There are key do’s and don’ts for businesses or organisations online that apply to multiple social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Here’s our list.
- Use analytics to your advantage. Every social media platform has analytics you can access and they cover pretty much everything. These analytics can help you understand who your audience is, the posts they engage with the most, and the times of day/night when they’re the most active. This determines the best time (and how often) you should post, and the content/topics that will receive the highest levels of engagement.
- Generate targeted content. You know your audience; craft your content to capture their attention. Posts must be topical, informative and should contain a call to action (even if you just ask people to share the post). The more eyes that see your post, the further your information will go.
- Create a list of FAQs to have at your fingertips. This will assist you to respond to social media queries in real time. The best part is that you can use the same, standard response and tweak it to suit the question as required. This cuts down on time, tracking down and asking subject matter experts within your organisation similar questions all the time.
- Avoid contentious topics. A great way to dispel misinformation is to address it head on – provide the facts through the channels the public are using, which will help guide the conversation and dispel misinformation. You can’t participate in a discussion or correct misinformation if you don’t have a voice on that platform.
- ‘Set and forget’. Yes, you can plan ahead and schedule posts using platforms such as Hootsuite or Sprout Social, but don’t sit back and think the job is done. Always be prepared to address ad hoc issues that mention your organisation. While scheduling allows you to drive the conversation, leaving less room for misinterpretation and misinformation spreading, you will have more time to monitor and respond to queries on an ad hoc basis in a timely fashion.
- Enter a back-and-forth discussion. If someone asks a question, your answer should hit the nail on the head. If the user continues to argue or question, refer them to your website or a customer service line or email address and leave it at that. Don’t feed the trolls.
Remember that the biggest risk to your organisation is an aversion to social media. The conversations will still happen, just without you.
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