It is not uncommon for people to dabble in social media without a communications strategy. Since everyone at Cuberis plays a role in our communications strategy, we’ve formalized a few of our guidelines into 3 Golden Rules of Social Media.
Here are a few of the guidelines we follow and recommend for our clients.
Respond. Respond. Always respond. If someone takes the time to say something about Cuberis, or to Cuberis, on social media we respond in a timely fashion. Everyone is busy. We feel honored anytime someone takes the time to say something nice to us, or about us.
Automation. When talking about social media automation people usually one or two things.
- cross-posting to multiple social media accounts or
- scheduling posts.
We do not think you should automatically post the same information on multiple social media channels (i.e., automatically posting something from Facebook to Twitter, and visa versa). They’re different tools. They have different audiences. They have different strengths and weaknesses. Lot of people follow brands on multiple social media channels. They quickly lose patience if they see the exact same message on several outposts at the same time.
We schedule posts from time to time, BUT we are VERY careful when we do. Social media is exactly that, social. People like to start a conversation. We are often surprised at what captures attention. If you’re not checking social media regularly to see how people interact with your posts, you can’t join in on the conversation. If you’re not conversing, there is no reason to be on social media.
Emergency situations. When there is an emergency people tend to check out social media to gauge the severity of the situation (and see what others are saying). We recommend staying off social media during this time. In emergency situations, well-meaning posts can be misconstrued and continuing to use social media as if it is a regular day may seem callous.
To give an example in context, think back to the Boston Marathon Bombings. This was a horrible tragedy and social media played an important role in the way the story unfolded. Because social media was so important, there was a lot of conversation about how companies behaved during the critical period.
A few lessons rose to the top:
- This is the reason you have to be VERY CAREFUL scheduling tweets. Companies looked silly promoting sales while the Twitter world was immersed in unfolding events.
- Heartfelt sympathy statements seem callous. Though they are well-meaning, they seem callous for two reasons. First, there are tragedies every day. If we send our heartfelt sympathy to one tragedy are we saying any other tragedy is less important because it is not a big deal on Twitter? Second, imagine how the heartfelt sympathy statement looks on your timeline sandwiched between a tweet promoting an event and a conversational tweet with a friend.
- You are not a news source. Unless it is an event that is directly related to you, you will not be the source people expect to go to get information.
We recommend a posting hiatus during the time; best judgement should be applied for how long.
We think these golden rules work for anyone. What general advice do you follow, or give to people who are dabbling in social media? Tweet your tips to us.