GroundFloor Media’s most recent blog post outlined five of our top 10 takeaways from the PR News Digital PR Next Practices Summit. From SEO to social media content, here is Part 2, which highlights the biggest takeaways we’d like to share. If you missed the first part of this post click here.
6) Know what constitutes an online crisis. Do you respond to a New York Times reporter who is tearing your company apart on her blog? And how is that different when “CatLover77” does the same? Should your response be made in a public setting or via direct message? And what do you do when the next “I hate this product” Facebook page or United Breaks Guitars-type video is about your company? Your company needs a response plan, and the person or people in charge of your social media communications need to know the protocol. GroundFloor Media frequently works with our clients to prepare social media response plans for a wide variety of crisis situations, as well as to develop social media response criteria and guidelines so you’re ready when “that” post hits the Internet.
7) It is vital to understand how search engine optimization works and to always consider it when posting content. This isn’t just regarding your Website, either. Press releases, blog posts, tweets, Flickr photos — they should all be titled, tagged and written with search engines and the end user in mind. If I’m uploading a video as a response to an unfavorable blog post, how do I make sure my video is listed as “related content” to the blog post? Before you finalize your content ask yourself, “Who do I want to see this, how will they phrase what they’re searching for and what can I do to tie my content to those terms?”
8) E-mail is becoming less and less relevant. At the risk of sounding nostalgic, remember the days when e-mail used to make you more productive? For many people, email is now utilized as a formal form of communication, almost the way snail mail was 10 years ago. In fact, Boston College recently stopped issuing e-mail addresses to incoming freshmen. If you really want to get someone’s attention you’ll text, tweet or message them on Facebook for a speedy response. Think about that concept, its implications on your communications strategy and where people are spending their time online.
9) Social media is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s should not be just a tactic, campaign or something you “dip your toe into,” but rather, social media should be a part of your overarching, integrated communications strategy. Treat it as such by making an investment in the proper resources and setting up long-term analytics that make sense for your communications goals. Social media probably won’t garner immediate results, but brand recognition and loyalty have never been immediate.
10) Content is still king. You can do your homework on your audiences, create a presence on every relevant social media platform and make sure your accounts are all optimized for search — but if you’re not producing content that your audience cares about, none of it will matter. Social media should be a conversation. Imagine being at a cocktail party and a stranger talking your ear off for 15 minutes about what they do for a living, and then finding you three more times throughout the night to have the same, one-sided conversation. Don’t be “that guy” with your social media content. Engage people and participate in fulfilling conversations.
The good news is that the platforms and tactics may be changing in our industry, but the tried and true communications principles still apply: be open, be honest, make calculated decisions and bring useful information to specific audiences. Oh, and be sure to give GroundFloor Media a call if you need help with any of your social media needs!