Planning for Your Social Media Campaign

Social Media Connections

I can not stress more, the impSocial Media Connectionsortance of doing your due diligence before starting a Social Media campaign. Everything may go smoothly after launch, but don’t be blindsided if things do not go as plan.

Rather, have a crisis management plan in place for everything you think could go wrong. A great example we can all learn from, in regards to the importance of having a crisis management plan in place prior to launching your Social Media campaign, is the recent McDonald’s #McDStories Twitter campaign. McDonald’s Twitter campaign did not evolve as planned and the lack of a crisis management plan made the situation even worse.  Check out the LA Times article about the campaign: McDonald’s #McDStories Twitter marketing effort goes awry

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Protecting Your Brand On Facebook

Recently I noticed that about an hour or so after reading a post from a company I follow, the number of comments on the post had almost doubled, or maybe even tripled. While I was amazed, I also knew that this was the power of Social Media in action; creating conversation and buzz quickly and in real tFacebook Like Buttonime. The number of comments on a brand’s single post can reach into the 1000’s in the matter of hours.

Moderating a large, and rapidly multiplying, amount comments can be difficult and overwhelming. One reason that moderation can be difficult is because of the Facebook culture. Facebook users expect a two-way conversation with the company, not just the other users. The combination of the users’ expectations and the vast number of comments turns social media brand management into a 24/7 job.

When venturing into the Social Media forum, it is important to plan not only one when, where, and what you will post, but also how you will respond to your audience. For most companies, the difficult questions or comments that you receive now, whether through email or phone calls, are the same questions that you will receive in the social media forum.  Setting up a protocol on whether you will respond to comments, and if so, which ones. This is imperative for brand health.

The expectations of users varies by platform, Facebook users are more likely to expect a response than twitter followers, or at least expect a response sooner. At times, it may seem like it would be easier to  delete negative comments that show up on your company’s page, but that may actually lead you down a more difficult path. Facebook users notice when a comment has been deleted from the comment thread and are often offended. Be very cautious when deleting comments, because this action may spark a larger negative backlash.

It is very common for Companies to post a “commenting policy” in the info section of their Facebook page, which would include protocols for dealing with inappropriate or offensive comments. If an inappropriate or offensive comment is posted on the page, then the established protocol should be followed to a “T”. In the Social Media world, it is considered justified to remove the offensive comment from the page. In addition, you should also respond to the comment via the comment thread or through Facebook message. You could mention your company’s “comments policy” and ask that they contact you via email with any questions or concerns.

If you only remember one thing when deciding to do Social Media, is that it is imperative that you prepare as much as possible beforehand. Social Media is an amazing tool that can grow and build a strong community around your brand, as long as you are prepared and active.

Image: Master isolated images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About BeingYourBrand

This blog is all about the good, the bad, and the “what were you thinking” in brand and communication strategy. Below is a a little bit about me, which is my basis for my interest in brand and communication strategy:

My name is Brianna and I am currently a brand strategist at a New Orleans based Marketing and Web Development company. I works with clients to maintain lines of communication and coordinates project milestones. I am very interested in development of consumer and category insights into successful communications plans. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, I am a graduate of Tulane University with a BSM in management and marketing. While attending Tulane, I was the business manager of the award winning student run newspaper The Hullabaloo. I was also a project management intern at the Trumpet Group, a branding and marketing firm in New Orleans, where I worked with Partners for Healthy Babies, Tobacco Free Living, and the Coastal Conservation Association.

For more information, check out my:

LinkedIn Profile http://linkedin.com/in/briannasmith

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