The Chapter’s recent Social Media Strategies: Content, Building Connections and Innovation event offered lots of tips and tricks to Detroit PR pros. Many thanks to our lovely panelists (below) for the insightful tips and to Next Wave Media Lab for hosting us.
- Brandon Chesnutt – VP, Director of Digital & Development, Identity Marketing and Public Relations
- Jennifer Cherry Foster – Founder and President, Catalstyt Media Factory
- Courtney Larvadain – Founder, Glow Social Media
Here are the top four tips from our panelists:
Don’t Be on Every Platform
Your organization does not need to be on every platform. It’s not necessary nor is it strategic. Foster indicated that it doesn’t serve people to be early adopters of social platforms if it doesn’t make sense for the company. However, if you think that one day you might grow into certain platforms, Larvadain recommends securing the handles that are relevant to you and your business. That way if you need them in the future, they are there for you and/or others can’t infringe upon your brand.
C-Suite Should Embrace Social
Humanizing a brand is crucial. Chesnutt and Larvadain agreed that having C-Suite executives post on their own social platforms helps amplify an organization’s brand, but they need help. The PR team needs to provide content, community management and so much more. Chesnutt said, “When they [C-Suite leaders] are more of a person and less of a logo there’s more room for impact.”
Have a Strategic Content Strategy
The panelists discussed that content for content’s sake is doesn’t create value. Solid organization social strategy is a must. Larvadain said, “Noise is different to everyone based on where they’re at in their life cycle. So it’s OK to not hit every person [in your strategy], just one audience is alright.” This really hit home because sometimes leaders want to reach for the stars, but when a team truly understands its audience, it can have a targeted voice. Foster added, “Companies have an agenda, but we [PR people] have to keep the audience in mind.”
Be Cautious with Automated Responses
Larvadain said, “The future of bots is still TBD – you still want automated responses that let’s people know someone will get back to you.” However, the panel talked at length about considering the sensitivity of the organization when drafting automated responses. Chessnutt cautioned, “Be careful – if you get sensitive comments or messages you don’t want to just say ‘we’ll be back to you in 24 hours’ you want to push them to a phone number or care team for urgent needs.” This is especially true for healthcare organizations or other emergency services.
The group discussed the importance of creating a comment response policy that can vary:
- Standard feedback such as “Thanks for your feedback.“
- Pulling out the positive part of commentary if it’s negative. For example: “I liked this service, but the timing was poor.” Your company could say, “Thanks for liking our service.”
- Or your team could be bold and defend the organization if that’s warranted and brand appropriate.
No matter what always try to respond. Period.
What did you learn from this event? Let us know in the comments. We hope to see you at future events soon – there are two in March!
Megan Bonelli (formerly Peterson) is a Senior Account Executive at Franco and the PRSA Detroit blog committee chair as well as a board member.