Hosted by Schroders on 29th June 2016
The internet never sleeps and there is always a risk that one of your employees or colleagues may not be on brand or on message.
Their posts or tweets could diverge from the voice your company is trying to project online and could possibly expose you to a viral backlash from clients, customers or employees.
A social media policy which holds employees accountable for everything can be inhibiting and prevent authentic and real time communication. So what do you do? How can you identify and manage risks and not inhibit fresh online conversations? How can you empower your staff to use social media and not open the floodgates to a host of crises?
Tim Johnson // Chief Operating Officer // Regester Larkin
A crisis is usually one of two types. Either it’s something that’s happened within an organisation and is being amplified in social media, or it’s resulted from an interaction in social media.
For a response to be successful you need to set out with a clear goal, typically to make your audience know, do or feel something. Present yourself as the single authoritative source about what’s happening.
It’s common to overstate the impact of crises, which often turn out to have less impact on brand perception than you thought at the time. A very public Greenpeace campaign against Shell made a lot of noise in social media, but did little damage with its customers or the general public. Be careful about overreacting, which can give the story credibility that otherwise it wouldn’t have
Your response needs a combination of soft and hard factors. All your procedures and systems must be in place. Practice and rehearse to be sure you’ll respond effectively.
Tell it all, tell it fast, and tell it truthfully. Try to own the story and the messages you need to be trying to communicate – your concern for what’s happened. Then, try to bring it under control, putting in place procedures that ensure it won’t happen again.
Some tips to help keep calm: you can make it worse but you can’t undo it, so accept the fact that it’s happened. Work out what’s in your control and what is not (which requires real discipline of thought). Set out your goals clearly – if you’re successful, you can say you’ve achieved these things. That provides the sense of direction and calm that you need.
Davey Strachan // Sr. IM/IT Business Analyst // Shell
At Shell, automated rules ensure that anything inappropriate gets deleted from comment streams. We ignore trolling. If it looks like an orchestrated campaign or a hijack by NGOs (non-governmental organisations) we will most likely ignore it or put out a single response. We don’t respond to trolls but we try to answer every single question.
Shell has a Social Media Centre of Excellence that has set out guidance about when and when not to react. It sits next to the team who own the logos, the branding and the tone of voice, working closely with productions and campaigns to get content out on social media.
We try to ensure that our staff have the capabilities and empowerment that allows us to trust them. Instead of ‘gatekeeping’ we trust employees to have conversations using the right tone and branding. We’ve got very robust internal training, Shell Open University, that’s focused around social media.
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