Managing Crisis Communication using Social Media

I am sure you are all aware that many say word of mouth is arguably, the most influential type of persuasion. When this is delivered through social media sites, the ability for negative criticism to go viral and attract more criticism and unwanted media coverage is now a reality that public relations practitioners face and may have to manage readily.

This is particularly true and prevalent on branded corporate Facebook pages. Negative comments left on business pages, particularly comments which are then championed by other Facebook users from an increasingly cynical public can be considered a social media crisis. Courtenay (2013) states, “social media has delivered a new army of critics and commentators, all of which have the ability to create and disseminate their version of what’s at the heart of any issue or matter”.

Good crisis management requires communication to tell the truth in a quick and consistent manner, and admit and apologise when required (Johnston & Zawawi, 2009). In 2012, Facebook user Richard Neill posted on the feminine sanitary brand Bodyform’s page, light-heartedly complaining that the brands advertising had lead him to believe that womens periods were a time of fun. He felt disillusioned having been confronted with the ‘reality’ that his girlfriend does not behave in the way the ads depict during her ‘time of the month’. The comment, which to date has attracted over 100’000 likes and 5’000 comments generated hype.

Comment to Bodyform’s Facebook page:

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According to Baer (2009) “the best way to mitigate social media crises is to respond at the flashpoint, you must be prepared to make and launch content in a variety of formats and circumstances”. This is exactly what Bodyform did, promptly converting a potential crisis to a PR opportunity. The brand released a satirical YouTube video response with the (fake) CEO of Bodyform apologising to Richard, addressing the fact their advertising uses metaphors and the general truth about periods. This video in turn went viral and generated positive media coverage.

Bodyform’s Response: The Truth:

 

The Bodyform case clearly illustrates how social media crises can be managed, following key principles, while still enabling the company to maintain it’s public reputation.

 

 

References:

Baer, J. (2009). 4 brand-saving recommendation for social media crisis management. Retrieved from http://www.convinceandconvert.com/social-media-marketing/4-brand-saving-recommendations-for-social-media-crisis-management/

Courtenay, A. (2013, September 26). Australia’s biggest PR disasters. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved from http://www.smh.com.au/small-business/finance/australias-biggest-pr-disasters-20130926-2ugli.html

Johnston, J. & Zawawi, C. (2009). Public relations theory and practice. NSW: Allen & Unwin.

 

 

Fired because of Social Media…

 

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We hear of people getting fired from posting on social media about their workplace all the time. We hear one side of the story and never understand why they got the sack, and usually are quick to judge and criticise the workplace for being so unrealistic.

But what you don’t hear is the other side of the story, the real side to the story. While what you post on social media platforms inside and out of work, weather it’s the latest viral video or what you had for breakfast… voicing an opinion even if its not expressively critical can still land you in hot water.

Below are some examples of people who were fired due to social media.

This infamous coffee blog had a man fired for posting negative facets of being a barista after he was outed by another coffee blog sprudge.com (Broderick and Grinberg, 2014).

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This man wrote publically about a young boy who got on his bus after school and was hungry. Once contacted by the school to remove the post, he wouldn’t and was fired (Broderick and Grinberg, 2014).

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And last but not least, this woman was hired and fired by simply confessing online she hated the company however, liked the idea of the fat pay check before she even started the job (Broderick and Grinberg, 2014).

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Do you think being fired was a realistic punishment or did these employees deserve the sack? Comment your opinions below!

Next week I’ll post about managing crisis communication through social media.

 

Broderick, R. and Grinberg, E. (2014). 10 people who learned social media can get you fired. [online] CNN. Available at: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/06/06/living/buzzfeed-social-media-fired/ [Accessed 22 Jul. 2014].

Google+: Worth the Effort… Or A Waste of Time?

Are you asking yourself why you should be on google+? I mean, no-one else is… so why should you be? Are people telling you that Google+ is just a ‘fad’ and it’s nothing to fuss over? Well, maybe let those people degrade the platform, you never know… eventually it might draw in the public.

Twitter for instance, won giant audiences once more and more people discovered the service. When Facebook came along, everyone used myspace and MSN… until it grew, and grew, and eventually, outgrew the other social media platforms and is now the largest of them all (Social Media News, 2014).

Here I found two main reasons as to why individuals and businesses should not miss out on Google+.

1. Google+ Communities
You are able to build connections with new people who are also active on Google+ that have the same interest as you. Google brands are also able to create and join communities. This is in contrast to Facebook Brand Pages which can’t join Facebook groups (Sherman, 2014).

The video posted below shows an example of communities connecting via Google+.

 

2. Hangouts and Hangouts on Air

Google allows ‘Hangouts’ where members can participate in video chats with up to nine other people at the same time. It provides opportunities to post to online instantly and also demonstrate to and teach existing and potential customers (Sherman, 2014).

The below video posted shows a cooking group teaching each other over a Google+ ‘hangout’.

 

 

Sherman, L. (2014). Six Reasons You Should Be on GooglePlus, Top Big Brands SMB. [online] Lindasherman.me. Available at: http://lindasherman.me/what-you-are-missing-on-googleplus/ [Accessed 14 Jul. 2014].

Social Media News, (2014). Social Media Statistics. [online] Available at: http://www.socialmedianews.com.au/social-media-statistics/ [Accessed 14 Jul. 2014].

Professionally Connecting via LinkedIn

Judging by the statistics I found when researching the different social media platforms, I now know that LinkedIn is the world’s biggest professional networking site with around 300 million people using it.

However, I signed up in my first semester to LinkedIn, and haven’t touched it since (its now been a year, and I finally updated it for professional purposes a few weeks ago). So… I did a little research on how to pretty it up in order to make sure it was beneficial to my future. Here is what I found.

Complete your profile  

Having a blank profile, full of gaps and blank white space, is not a very professional proposition. People want to know where you have worked previously, your education, your interest and even want to see your face. Yep that’s right, don’t leave your profile pic out!

Don’t leave out your picture

I get that choosing profile picture can be cheesy, however, research has proven that your profile is more likely be seen with a picture. It can also be used to jog people’s memories if they have met you before! When choosing what photo to put up, keep in mind you want to maintain that professional image. From the photos below, what do you think would be more appropriate?

LinkedIn

Getting ridiculous recommendations

Recommendation can be good for colleagues, teachers and managers to add references about what skills you have, but getting your mum or girlfriend to comment on how great of a person you are is just silly.

Don’t treat it like Facebook or Twitter. You don’t need to update LinkedIn like you would on unprofessional social media platforms like Twitter…

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Or Facebook…

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Also avoid connecting with anyone and everyone under the sun you do on Facebook, remember quality over quantity.

Here is my LinkedIn page if you want to check out the updated version.

 

How about you continue the conversation on twitter, I want to hear your comments on linkedin #iuselinkedin.

 

 

Branding your Instagram

This week I looked at businesses on Instagram. With this picture sharing platform having 150+million active monthly users (Bullas, 2014), it is a great platform for any company or business to interact with their customers though pics and short videos! I think Instagram is a great way to brand your company and interact with your audience through competitions, campaigns as well as keeping your customers up-to-date with the latest products available in-store and online!

 

After some research, I came across 5 Easy Tips for Visual Branding which shows some good ways to use social media platforms (Futterman, 2014). The 5 steps can be used on Instagram and are as follows:

1. Keep branding consistent across platforms

2. Be aware of best practices on each platform

3. Keep your profile picture simple and consistent

4. Keep your profile fresh

5. Use space creatively  (Futterman, 2014)

 

A few Insta-pages that caught my eye and have so far been successful in promoting their produce by piccies is: Windsor Smith, Bondi Sands and Crave Gold Coast. Windsor Smith is Australia’s no.1 male and female fashion shoe brand with over 150k followers. One way they interact with their customers and brand their Insta page is through posting photos of their customers wearing their products. This is great interaction with their followers:

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Bondi Sands is Australia’s own salon quality tanning product with over 54,000 followers in just a year. Like Windsor Smith, it posts its favourite customers weekly showing off the products, however also promotes weekly competitions keeping the customers happy:

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Crave is Gold Coasts largest ‘foodie’ guide with 8,000+ followers that posts local cafes and restaurants around the South-East Coast. Crave posts regular photos and competitions for the best food around the coast- it has tags keeping the audience interactive and is great profile to head too on a saturday morning and check out where the current best breakfast burger lays on the GC. Screen Shot 2014-07-02 at 10.46.47 am

Next week, I’ll be looking at Google+ and Linkedin!

 

References:

Futterman, E. (2014). 5 Easy Tips for Visual Branding on Social Media. [online] The Next Web. Available at: http://thenextweb.com/dd/2014/06/26/5-simple-tips-visual-branding-social-media/ [Accessed 1 Jul. 2014].

Bullas, J. (2014). 22 Social Media Facts and Statistics You Should Know in 2014 – Jeffbullas’s Blog. [online] Jeffbullas’s Blog. Available at: http://www.jeffbullas.com/2014/01/17/20-social-media-facts-and-statistics-you-should-know-in-2014/ [Accessed 1 Jul. 2014].

Connecting via Twitter!

#bringbackourgirls

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#bondprstudents

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For those of you who don’t know Twitter, it is a micro blogging social network that allows you to make a post of 140 characters or less (The Official MLK Day of Service Site, 2014). It is where you are able to write your thoughts and actions down and post them online to your feed. However, it can also be used for sharing videos, sharing someone else’s posts, which is called a ‘retweet’ and a variety of other mini posts such as links to websites. There are around 250 million active twitter users today, and around 9,100 tweets per second (Statisticbrain.com, 2014). Users on twitter are able to instantaneously connect through tagging someone’s name which will post to their page or hash tag at the end of a post, which will then be shared to a communal page of that hash tag.

A great example of tagging in action and what you may know twitter for, is the Youtube video below that went viral after celebrities were filmed reading mean tweets to and about themselves. The tweets had the celebs names tagged within, which automatically posts to both feeds for the world to see, sending a direct message to active twitter users, in this case the celebrities. Biting back, the video shows their reaction to the mean tweets posted to them.

Celebrities read mean tweets :

As you can see in that video, twitter is a way a great way of communication with people from all over the world.

 

Statisticbrain.com, (2014). Twitter Statistics | Statistic Brain. [online] Available at: http://www.statisticbrain.com/twitter-statistics/ [Accessed 23 Jun. 2014].

The Official MLK Day of Service Site, (2014). Martin Luther King JR. Day Of Service. [online] Available at: http://mlkday.gov/plan/library/communications/communicating.php [Accessed 22 Jun. 2014].

Youtube

Youtube, founded in only 2005, has grown to the world’s most popular online video community with an amazing 1 hour of video uploaded every second and also exceeds 2 billion views to its site a day (YouTube, 2014). Wow. This social media site is where millions of people spend their time watching, sharing and making originally created videos.

YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform, and inspire others across the globe and acts as a major distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers, large and small.

Over the years, youtube has had billions of users videos go viral and then become ‘youtube sensations’ (YouTube, 2014). Videos that are considered viral are ones that have 100,000+ views (Statista, 2014). These types of videos rage from music videos, vlogs, campaigns, adds, User Generated Videos and many more.

Below are some examples and some of my favorite youtube videos that went viral:

 

 

 

 

 

Youtube, (2014). YouTube — One Hour Per Second. [online] Available at: http://www.onehourpersecond.com [Accessed 16 Jun. 2014].

Statista, (2014). Fastest viral videos: days to reach 100 million views 2013 | Statistic. [online] Available at: http://www.statista.com/statistics/220391/fastest-viral-videos-to-reach-100-million-hits/ [Accessed 16 Jun. 2014].

Facebook for Businesses

As I look around my lecture, I can see my teacher down the front and about 30 laptops screens… majority showing Facebook. I personally only use Facebook so I can stay in contact with friends and family. But to others Facebook is a lot more… and by more I mean my generation mainly uses it for a procrastination tool, a venting tool and of course for the more important things, many use it as a business tool.

Facebook is one of the largest leading social media sites in the world today, recording over 802 million active users in march 2014 (Facebook Newsroom, 2014). In the 2013 Sensis Survey I found on the Business Queensland (2014) site, shows 1900 businesses use social media as a marketing tool.

It was found that:

  • 30% of those were small businesses
  • 47% were medium-sized businesses
  • 79% were large businesses.

Facebook was then said to be ‘By far the most common social media being used by businesses of all sizes’ (Business Queensland, 2014).

I originally didn’t think that facebook had much potential for any businesses, though after some research I establish that there are in fact many benefits. Some people might say it is similar to having your own website, when in fact it is much more:

  1. Facebook, unlike websites, cost nothing! All you need to do is sign up
  2. You are able to share pictures and videos for/from your business as well as promote advertisements
  3. You are able to create a great customer support through being able to communicate effectively by setting up Q & A sessions or through messages
  4. You are able to involve your staff internally through events and groups
  5. As well as other marketing strategies that may be used

Over all I think Facebook as a marketing platform for business can be a critical component in engaging and keeping up a good relationship with consumers.

Below are some stats I found about Facebook and businesses:

 

Marketing on Facebook compared to other social media platforms and the effectiveness of these social media tools (All Facebook, 2014):

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Reasons to have a Facebook page for business (Sachoff, 2014) :

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All Facebook, (2014). 96% Of Small Businesses Are On Facebook: Report – AllFacebook. [online] Available at: http://allfacebook.com/facebook-small-business-4_b66989 [Accessed 6 Jun. 2014].

Business Queensland (2014). Who uses Facebook? | Queensland Government. [online] Available at: http://www.business.qld.gov.au/business/running/marketing/online-marketing/using-facebook-to-market-your-business/who-uses-facebook [Accessed 6 Jun. 2014].

Facebook Newsroom (2014). Company Info | Facebook Newsroom. [online] Available at: http://newsroom.fb.com/company-info/ [Accessed 6 Jun. 2014].

Sensis (2013). Media Releases | Sensis. [online] Available at: http://about.sensis.com.au/News/Media-Releases/?ItemID=1225&count=1 [Accessed 6 Jun. 2014].

Sachoff, M. (2014). Facebook And Mobile Apps Becoming More Important To Small Businesses. [online] WebProNews. Available at: http://www.webpronews.com/facebook-and-mobile-apps-becoming-more-important-to-small-businesses-2011-03 [Accessed 06 Jun. 2014].

 

Anyone, anywhere: According to Wikipedia

Wikipedia is by far my very first ‘go to’ when starting an assignment, looking for background information or just doing any general research.

I recently watched a video on YouTube called Truth in Numbers (2013), it states wikipedia originated from the word ‘wiki’ and defines it as “A website that can be altered in real time by anyone that has the privileges to do so… and wikipedia’s case, that’s all of us”.

The website has 285 different languages available (wikepedia, 2014) and can literally be edited and published by whoever, whenever all over the world, which definitely amazes me!

As a university student, I and many other students commonly use wikipedia as the first source for a little background info on the topic of assignment. Despite it is of course a non-academic source because its liability to be the exact truth is quite low… it is still a great place to find good references the publisher has used, to track other factual websites for more information.

I personally love Wikipedia! It is like the brain I have never had and it holds the answers to just about anything I need to know. It is as simple as typing your question into Google and pressing enter … almost every time, wikipedia will be the first thing that pops up!

 

 

Safko, L. (2012). The Social Media Bible: Tactics, Tools, and Strategies for Business Success. 3rd ed.

Wikipedia, (2014). List of Wikipedias. [online] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Wikipedias [Accessed 3 Jun. 2014].

YouTube, (2014). Truth in Numbers? Everything, According to Wikipedia (720p). [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDT7GgKqnus [Accessed 3 Jun. 2014].

 

 

Behind The Word ‘Blog’

After a fair bit of research, some blog, vlog, and flog stalking, two hours of procrastination and a block of chocolate, I have finally written my first sentence of my week 2 post about blogs!

But seriously, throw a few personal thoughts together, a trendy photo to match the casual content, and a nice theme to snazz up your website and… wallah! You have yourself a blogpost!

A ‘blog’ comes from the word ‘web log’ and is an online personal journal or informal discussion written on a regular basis (Oxford Dictionary, 2014). They can be updated at any time and are used to express people’s day-to-day experiences as well as market businesses (Inbox Journal, 2014).

Here are some different styled blogs that you may come across when searching for blogs:

  • Vlog- video blog website
  • Splog- spam blog
  • Blawgs- blogs on law issues
  • Qlog- Question & Answer
  • Linklog- collection of urls that link to other blogs
  • Tumblogs- shorter posts- filled with videos and imagery

There are over 100,000,000+ blogs on the web though the most popular feature anything to do with lifestyle, fashion, music, travel, art or food (Blog Guide, 2014).

I have created this blog for a subject I’m doing at uni called ‘Social Media Tactics’. Each week I will be posting about social media platforms, the trends and its tactics used to make an impact in mostly the business world. Each week will contain a bit of theory as well as some examples to keep you all entertained!

Listed below are links to some of my favourite personal blogs!

Also go ahead and check out ‘Blog Guides’ YouTube Video on how to start blogging.

Travel and Fashion- Tuula Vintage

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Fashion and Beauty- They All Hate Us

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Food Blog- Not Without Salt 

September-Blogs-We-love-Not-Without-Salt

Lifestyle Vlog- Jenna Marbles

 

 

References:

Blogguide, (2014). Types of Blogs. [online] YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMOyIJisyQI [Accessed 25 May. 2014].

Inboxjournal.com, (2014). Difference between Diaries, Journals and Blogs – InboxJournal.com. [online] Available at: http://www.inboxjournal.com/articles/difference-between-diary-journal-and-blog.php [Accessed 25 May. 2014].

Oxford Dictionary, (2014). Define Blog, [online] Available at: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/blog [Accessed 25 May. 2014].