5 Ways to Prevent a Crisis Situation

crisis coming

When there is conflict or problem at a company or organization, public relations and marketing professionals immediately yell: OH SNAPS, WE HAVE A CRISIS; WE’RE GOING TO BE TRENDING ON SOCIAL MEDIA IN SUCH A NEGATIVE WAY! NOOOOOOO!

However, what some public relations and marketing professionals don’t realize is a crisis can be minimized or avoided if used correctly. After reading an article about crisis communications on prconversations.com, I came up with 5 ways to prevent or minimize a crisis situation:

1) Be sure to already have built a positive relationship with your audience prior to a crisis – By doing this, you could avoid a crisis all together. Your audience is more willing to be forgiving and understanding if you make a mistake once you’ve developed a positive relationship with them.

2) Immediately recognize who you need to target your message to by listening to the concerns of your audience – There are millions of people on Twitter but not everyone is talking about your brand. However, the ones that are, are vital to your success at preventing or minimizing a crisis situation. Be sure to place their concerns as your number one priority.

3) Be SURE to be open to engaging in two-way conversation –  Understand that social media is a way to directly communicate with your followers. You can minimize the level of public shame if you communicate with your followers in a timely manner. NOT ALL, but in some cases a simple apology or small compensation can prevent a crisis.

4) Utilize your social media crisis communications plan and if you don’t have one, GET ONE – This limits confusion and an unorganized way of handling a crisis. There is nothing worse than a crisis spiraling from another crisis.

5) MAKE SURE TO UTILIZE YOUR EMPLOYEES – Though your primary concern is to focus on the concerns of your audience, NEVER forget about your internal audience which are your employees. They have more power than you think. They even have the power to prevent a crisis situation.

Ashli

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Social Media is Strictly Professional

Do you remember when best friends were considered special because they were who you shared everything with? All the way from your deepest secrets to your political views to what you wore at the bar on Saturday nights, your best friend was the ONLY one you would tell that too because you knew that whatever you told your best friend would not hurt you in the long run. With the invention of social media, people are treating Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms like a “best friend”. However, what people don’t realize is that social media will not keep their business private. In fact, once you put something on social media, it is available for the world to see and now, employers know that too.

According to an article, social media monitoring has become extremely popular for employers when looking for candidates for hiring positions. In fact, a lot of employers won’t hire candidates solely based on what is posted on a person’s social media pages. Ranging from sexually explicit postings to profanity to illegal drug postings, employers have reconsidered hiring candidates. You may think that’s obvious right? Why would a place of professionals hire a candidate who exposes their personal activities, especially illegal drugs? However, that is just the obvious reasons but employers have reconsidered hiring individuals all the way down to simple reasons such as incorrect spelling and grammar on post, political views and voicing your opinion on controversial issues such as police brutality, racism and same-sex marriage.

So then, do employers control social media? Before social media was considered a place for employers to go to connect with potential candidates, it was simply a place for people to have fun and be able to share whatever they wanted to without feeling bad for it. Granted, some things such as illegal drugs and sexually explicit content should be kept private, incorrect spelling and your opinion on controversial issues in America was normal. Now, if you’re looking for a job, your social media page should be mostly professional with only an approved social life.

Ashli

I just read it on REDDIT!

Now days, people go to several sources to look at the news. Whether its following news outlets on Twitter or watching a video snippet on YouTube or Instagram, the way to receive news has drastically changed. One way that has not is receiving news through popular social news site Reddit. Reddit is a social media news site that discusses just about everything that is going on in the world. Whether it’s discussing serious issues such as racism and police brutality or irregular yet hilarious topics such as pole dancing using a traffic sign, you can read it on Reddit. It is based on the votes of readers, therefore, if a reader likes an article they up-vote it and vice-versa if a reader dislikes the article. The more up-and down votes an article gets, the more potential it has of being read on the site.  Reddit is broken down into subreddits, which allow readers to read news in the area of their liking. Out of the 46 subreddits, here are my top three:

News 

This subreddit allows for you to stay updated on what is going on in the world. It is important to always stay current because you never know what news could have a personal effect on you and your loved ones. If I ever want to start a conversation with someone, Reddit allows me to stay knowledgeable on topics that everyone is talking about.

Get Motivated 

So, have you ever woke up in a really crappy mood and needed some type of encouragement or a good laugh to get you in the right spirit? The Get Motivated subreddit is the perfect place to go to put a smile on your face. No matter how bad it is, I’m sure that one of those links can cause a smile.

Music

Obviously, music is and will probably forever be a big part of American culture. In the music section of Reddit, one can be updated on new music, old music and current gossip about celebrities working in the music industry. Maybe you didn’t see the latest drama in the Kardashian family or the divorce between Paula Patton and Robin Thicke on Entertainment News, but you can definitely see it on Reddit!

Ashli

Snapchat Goes Viral

Did you know that Snapchat first launched back in 2011? It was not really popular back then and not too many people were using the app. But, who would have thought that the social media tool that launched over three years ago would gain over 30 million active users? Pretty sweet huh? Well, it wasn’t long before business would use the social media platform as a 10 second marketing tool. According to Forbes Contributor Jayson Demers, gives four tips on how to understand Snapchat as a marketing tool.

  1. Learn the environment of Snapchat – Snapchat encourages its users to have informal conversations through photos and videos not to exceed 10 seconds. Snapchat users are typically relaxed and really unprofessional. Understand this so that your business can create marketing strategies that adapt to the casual, informal environment of Snapchat.
  2. You get 10 seconds….USE IT WISELY – Snapchat allows for its users to share videos and photos with others that does not exceed 10 seconds. As a marketing professional, it is important to strategically understand this. According to Jayson, one way marketing professionals can use that limit is to promote an upcoming event or product launch by giving the audience teasers.
  3. Videos, Videos, Videos – Snapchat enables its users to communicate through videos. This is good for you because it allows your marketing team to verbally communicate your business’s messages more directly and more clearly.
  4. Show some personality–  What makes Snapchat so comfortable to use is that it is not so formal or conservative. Snapchat ENCOURAGES everyone to be relaxed. It creates a more friendly, personal relationship between the sender and the receiver. As a business, it is important to have the same persona. Loosen up and show some personality in your messages. Show your audience behind the scenes footage. People want to feel included. They want to feel like they are part of the business as more than just a customer. Make them feel included.

-Ashli Harris

Ebooks for 200, Alex

Marketing experts have continued to have conversations on which is better, ebook or white paper. Though there are benefits in both, ebooks are better than white pages. There are five reasons why you should choose ebooks over white pages:

1) Cost effective – Technology has made it possible to produce material and share it with the world for little to no price at all. With ebooks, you don’t have to pay for a publisher as you would if you used white pages. After all, you also save trees.

2)  Distribution is easier – Ebooks are more likely to be shared with friends due to all of the interactive elements that can be added. Graphics and a call to action makes it easier to get around to different audiences. You can also track who buys your ebook.

3) Less difficult to read – The digital formatting of ebooks makes it more easier to read. White papers vertical formatting can be more difficult on the eyes, forcing your audience to either print white papers out or not read it all.

4) Key points pop – With ebooks, you make your key points stand out by using bold text treatments. Your audience can get the information that they need faster, clearer and avoid the extra clutter.

5) Engaging and interactive – With ebooks, your audience can interact with you. Ebooks allow you to set up a link for the audience to follow your blog or connect with you on social media platforms or etc. With ebooks, your audience can do more than just read content. You can incorporate a call to action in ebooks.

Ashli Harris

5 Mistakes Businesses Make in Social Media Engagement

All too often, businesses create social media pages and don’t have the slightest clue how to use them. The point of social media marketing is that businesses have the opportunity to have two-way communication with consumers. Understanding social media etiquette is crucial to driving business to your company. Experts in social media marketing have found five common mistakes businesses make when using social media:

1) Being the same on all social media platforms – Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Snapchat, Instagram, LinkedIn…you name it! Yes, social media is booming and yes, your business should be on several social media platforms. Not all social media platforms are the same, which means not all of your consumers are the same. Creating the same content across all of your social media pages is a sure way to lose followers. Though you want to send the same message across on all your social media pages , it is perfectly legal to modify your content in such a way that fits your audience on that particularly platform.

2) Refusing to be social – No one likes spam and for businesses it’s very easy to come across spam. Sure, you want to advertise your business or promote an upcoming event or product, but do you want to appear as the business whose social media page that bombards consumers with advertisements? What does anyone do when they see spam? They delete it! So why would you want your business to come across as spam? In the case of social media, you will get unfollowed! When using social media, understand the benefit of it being two-way communication. Appear friendly, positive and engaging. Make your posts personal. Your consumers want to feel like you’re their friend. So be their friend and cater to their needs.

3) Refusing to understand your audience – Social media platforms are different! The tactics that you use on one social media site, may be less effective on another site. For example, Instagram is all about photographs while Twitter is all about 140 characters of your thoughts. You wouldn’t make your Instagram post 140 characters and your Twitter all about photographs? Your audience has different likes and dislikes, but they all have your business in common. It is important to cater to all of their social media likes appropriately. Social media platforms allows you reach your various target audiences. Understanding which audience to reach is the key to success.

4) Using your social media page as “bait” – Do not treat your consumers as if they are bait. “If you are one of the first 100 people to like this page, you’ll receive blah blah blah”. You will quickly be considered spam and no one likes spam. Remember, your consumers should feel like they have a friend in you. Treating them like bait, destroys that. Some businesses have attempted to use the “bait” tactic as a way to boost their followers. However, they have little success because their social media page just becomes a page full of useless likes or followers. Your business has a target audience and you want to have a friendly, conversation with that audience. Even if the number of people who follow your page is low but you are receiving positive feedback, that is okay. Remember, quality is always better than quantity.

5) Refusing to measure ROI – Social media is simply a marketing tool. Imagine spending hours on social media, engaging with your consumers and your company isn’t bringing in any profit? What’s the point right? When consumers follow your social media pages, you either have something that they like, you have something that they need or they just like your business. Take advantage of that. Post content that is interesting to consumers and continue to be friendly with consumers. Though social media is difficult to measure, good social media engagement will bring you some sort of profit or business.

Ashli Harris

The Bible says, Thou Shalt Blog?

Blogging is an essential digital marketing tool that should be used just as much as any other social media platform. Blogging not only allows a company to engage with consumers, but it allows for companies to be down-to-earth when engaging with consumers.

Just like anything else, there are rules for success. I found an article that outlined the 10 commandments on blogging. Though I agree with most of them, there are some that I added myself.

  1. Thou shalt use catchy titles – Who wants to read a boring blog? Well, with a boring, mediocre title you will probably fit into the boring blog category even if your content is interesting to the readers. Remember, titles are the FIRST part of your blog post that someone reads. If your title is boring, chances are people are thinking the content probably is too. Avoid this by creating useful titles that your readers can benefit from.
  2. Thou shalt look attractive – Don’t be boring! Branding is essential to your company. When creating blogs, incorporate your branding image in there. Colors and phrases is a good way for your blog to not only look attractive, but gives you the opportunity to promote your brand.
  3. Thou shalt avoid content clutter – There are millions of blogs out there. Not to mention, there are millions of blogs that discuss the same content as your blog. The last thing you want for your company is for your blog to “blend in”. Try to avoid content clutter at all cost. You can do this by publishing interesting and relevant content. The more interesting, creative and relevant your blog’s content is, the higher the possibility of it standing out.
  4. Thou shalt publish and update frequently – Have you ever stopped using something because it no longer excited you? For example, when you were a kid you probably watched cartoons because they were so interesting but the older you got, cartoons probably began to bore you. Blogs are no different. Update your blog at least twice a week. Blogs that do not have constant updates quickly lose readers. Remember, your blog feeds people’s needs and wants. If you do not constantly feed your audience, they will go elsewhere.
  5. Thou shalt praise SEO – Google is the top search engine where people go to find information. Be sure to use frequent keywords that will drive people to your blog. You want your blog to be at the top of the list. People tend to only look on the first page for information. Being at the top puts you at an all time high advantage. If you do not know what SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is, you are behind. Learn it. Like it. Love it!
  6. Thou shalt engage invite comments – One of the best ways to learn how your consumers think, is to just simply ask them! Try to end your blog post with a question. For example, do you agree with this article? What are your thoughts on xyz? Not only do you gain insight from consumers, but you also give off a friendly, inviting tone which could potentially bring new consumers. Everyone likes friendliness right?
  7. Thou shalt track everything – Google Analytics is a new tool that everyone should take advantage of. It allows you to track everything…no literally! Google Analytics allows you to see how long someone stays on your page, where they go while on your page, which of your posts attract the most attention and so much more. You want to know who these strangers are reading your blogs, what they like and why they like it right? Google Analytics is a way to do so without directly asking your audience. How resourceful is that right?
  8. Thou shalt cross promote blog – All of your audience’s use social media differently. Some are on Facebook and not on Twitter. Some are only on LinkedIn. Some may be on all major social media sites but use certain ones frequently. It is important to cross promote your blog on all social media platforms so that you may reach ALL of your audiences. You can do this by creating posts that includes the link to your blog post for that day.
  9. Thou shalt have a strategy – Just because your company gets a blog, doesn’t mean you just write something. What’s the point in that? Have a strategy when writing content on your blog. You want your blog post should have some sort of action. You want your blog post to ALWAYS engage with the audience by understanding subjects that they are interested in. Maybe you want more consumer awareness for your business. Maybe you want to promote a new product. There is a way to do those things without being too direct. It’s called content strategy.
  10. Thou shalt know that your blog is a MARKETING TOOL – Blogging is simply a marketing TOOL. It is not the only tactic that you use to engage with your audience. Understand how to use your blog that will gain some type of consumer engagement or action. After all, isn’t that the whole purpose of social media as a business tool?

Ashli Harris