How to Manage Issues on Social Media

crisisEverything is closer and goes faster in the world of social media. People on Greenland can respond to a thread written in Madagascar within seconds. People are able to find likeminded people, build communities around specific interests, and find inspiration and support within those communities. If one yells, the reach is not only limited to local and random surroundings. An army can be assembled from the whole world, within seconds, ready to fight and destroy your brand. So how do you respond, stop the army from increasing, and maybe turn the situation around to your benefit?

What does the monster look like?
How do you identify a potential avalanche of negativity towards your brand? First of all – keep your enemies close. Get to know the people who will disagree with your brand’s believes. What are your company’s or product’s weaknesses, who will speak up for it and why? Sometimes you don’t have to have enemies to get issues. Spelling mistakes, incorrect facts, or unhappy customers can turn into a big issue, and worst of all a crises that can damage your company and it’s reputation. Documented complaints, well written stories, photos, videos, and writers with high reputation are most likely to start the issues.

Prepare yourself!
Have a Content Team or a Community Manager who is responsible for monitoring and taking part in the conversations concerning your brand. This can stop the avalanche before it’s even started. Time means everything, the faster you can stop it, the smaller is the risk that it will grow big and out of control.

Content in the making
All content is exposed to thousands of eyes. It is thus important to put your content under a telescope and to look at it from different angles. Ask yourself if your content can be misunderstood. No? Then ask your colleague. Next, proofread it for spelling, grammar and facts – everything needs to be triple checked before it is posted. If your content can possibly be misunderstood then have arguments, sources and a clear message ready for a quick reply.

What you should do
It happened! Heaps of angry, passionate comments are now appearing on your page, so what will you do about it? People need answers! The most provocative thing is when someone doesn’t answer you back. If you don’t have the answer yet, then say so. People will feel that you take them seriously, and maybe they calm down a bit if you don’t ignore them. You need to create a good answer. Most importantly you have to keep it short. A long explanation can loose a lot of readers and also ruin your purpose – to give a clear message. Have a decent tone that won’t reveal your frustrations. Give it a personal touch by signing off with your first name so the audience can see the real person behind the big brand. In this way, you give your message authenticity and take responsibility, which is very important. If you want to take really good care of your baby, then get yourself an app that shows when new comments or posts come in. Then you will always be well prepared if hell comes knocking at your door.

 

 

 

 

 

Clickbait: Information overload! How can brands cut-through all the noise?

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 10.11.34You won’t believe the hidden message in this blog post! Or rather – there isn’t one, I just wanted you to click through and read this. But bear with me – I’m about to suggest something incredibly controversial – a never-heard-before admission by a social agency!*

As much as clickbait is the emotional catnip of our online experience and can drive consistent traffic for publishers like The Daily Mail and Huff Post who churn out multiple stories each day, it’s still hugely annoying to discover you’ve been duped by an over-excited headline promising to give you all the feels. For brands, adopting the same practice can negatively affect perception and ultimately – sales. So how can brands cut through all the sensational copy and deliver successful results without falling prey to creating clickbait themselves? How do they beat them rather than join them?

 

Platform crackdown

In the early days of social, Facebook optimised content based on engagement, meaning that if users clicked on a piece of content, it received a higher ranking in newsfeeds. In 2014 Facebook took steps to try and crack down on those gaming this ranking using clickbait, and in February this year it introduced an update based not just on what users engaged with in their feed, but what they wanted to see. Facebook’s advice is that Pages should avoid encouraging people to take action (such as encouraging lots of clicks), because this will likely only cause temporary spikes in metrics that might then be rebalanced by feed’s ranking over time – meaning the latest ranking favours content that users naturally engage with rather than content that users click on through coercion.

 

Last month Instagram followed suit and announced it would alter user’s feeds to optimise the content users “care about the most”, and Twitter has also adopted a similar change (although users can opt-out and revert back to the chronological feed). The changes will hopefully make it harder for clickbaiters to game feeds with meaningless content, but the real aim for the platforms hosting is to surface more engaging content more frequently so users return often and stay longer.

 

The same goes for brands on social. If the content they produce is consistently engaging, then users will interact more frequently, leading others to discover it through preferred ranking. Ultimately, these new newsfeed algorithms exist to generate more meaningful engagement, driving not just clicks, but conversations via comments, and shares.

 

Learn and adapt

Meaningful engagement begins with relevant content that creates value for the user and the brand. While an insight-driven content strategy is key to delivering this, brands should also adapt stories and messages based on the emotional needs and behavior of their audience. This is more than just a case of ‘test and learn’ or refining what has already been done. Brands must also evolve their approach in line with new behaviors, platforms, competitors and rankings or risk being left behind by those who do.

 

A good example of a brand that does this well is Buzzfeed, who’s CEO recently shared their new strategic thinking, revealing how their objective has changed from getting users to click through to their main site to view stories, to allowing content to be consumed directly on other platforms. The new direction was prompted by analysing which content generated clicks and discovering that users prefer to consume some types of content within the platform they are already on. The company also found a discernable difference between user interactions with the same content on different platforms, demonstrating how content demand and consumption vary across sites. What spreads like wildfire on Facebook might fail miserably elsewhere.

 

Relevance is key

For brands looking to use social content to drive click-through to their site, it’s important to balance the goal of the company (clicks to eyeballs, or conversions to sales, for example) with the desire and behavior of users on different sites, and monitor response over time. Relevance is key to interaction, and brands that think like publishers will know that relevance is an ever-changing chameleon. While users are bombarded with meaningless clickbait, there is ample opportunity for brands to channel the social zeitgeist by delivering valuable content that meets audience needs in the format, time and platform that suits them. If they get this right, they won’t need clickbait.

 

At Mindjumpers we help companies and brands to think as publishers and provide end-to-end social media management across multiple markets, encompassing full social strategy, planned and reactive content creation, analysis and reporting.

 

If you’d like to find out more please get in touch.

 

*Don’t be naughty and scroll to the last paragraph – I’ve hidden the controversial part somewhere to optimize your dwell time in finding it!