Does your social media campaign have an online PR plan?

While social media continues to evolve world-wide on the social web, it is still a very scary medium for many organisations. All of a sudden social media means that the public, customers, and prospects now have a method with the use of all the social media channels to make their voices heard with relative ease.

Despite the fact that everyone can be a “citizen journalist” online, only a small percentage of the people involved with social media are creating content. Most of the others are only consuming the content on this medium or making minor contributions and commenting on existing content. From a business perspective, it’s those small contributions, interactions and comments that brands should respond to.

In today’s digital landscape, you will find a couple of elements that every business should have in place before they venture out on the social web and become social active online. Given the huge amount of content and information that is shared online, it is important that your company can react appropriately and quickly to changes in the conversation taking place surrounding your business online in order to protect your reputation from being slandered by the masses.

Here are a couple of recommendations that can help protect your reputation when starting with a social media campaign.

Social media monitoring
I can’t stress this enough. When starting with a social media campaign, make sure that you have a monitoring process in place. Social media monitoring can help you identify early warnings on the social web regarding your campaign and your business. With social media monitoring, make sure that you are also monitoring keywords related to your direct competitors and see what they are doing. It can also act as an early warning system for your market niche.

Social media guidelines
With a proper social media guidelines or policy in place, it can protect your firm and your employees. When you create the social media guidelines for your business, don’t use it to scare your employees. Instead, use the guidelines/policy that communicates openness and transparency for everyone who engages with on behalf of your company within social media. Consumers not only trust “people like themselves,” but they trust employees of a company more.

Crisis management
What are you going to do when you are part of a social media crisis? Since the firestorms on social media can happen without any notice and at any time, it is very important that you have a crisis management plan in place to help protect your business. A crisis management plan means more than just the name of your PR firm. It requires an organised process with up to date phone numbers and names. The reality is that something negative can happen at any time when no one is actively looking; on the weekend, during a holiday or whenever.

As a business, are you ready if you are involved in an online PR crisis? Are you really prepared if something happens to anyone that works for your business?

Anton Koekemoer


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