Thanks to social media, following companies is as easy as watching television. However, the social media world can turn into a cruel one with one wrong move, damaging the reputation you took years to build.
Sarah Skerik of PR Newswire recently gave some good advice on ways to avoid a social media disaster. We’ve tweaked her ideas to focus on avoiding a professional PR crisis:
Keep it clean – While it’s become socially acceptable for TV networks to use language formerly considered vulgar, this is one trend that your business should avoid.
Make sure you want to see it again; it will come back to you – Yes, you’re able to delete any tweet or status update you please. However, there are two reasons doing so is a bad idea: a) someone can still grab a screenshot of your message; and b) backtracking on social media leaves a bad impression on your business.
Consider your stakeholders – If you have any doubts that your message may offend the people you care about – or those you want to respect you – then refrain from posting it. Cool off before you write anything. As your mother probably told you, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.”
Stay classy – Since no one is perfect, you’re likely to have a dissatisfied customer whose mission in life is to damage your company’s reputation. In situations like these, it’s best to admit wrongdoing on your company’s part and offer a solution to the customer – putting out the fire in the process.
Do some scenario planning – This simply involves thinking before you speak. Don’t just think about the positive outcomes of your message, but also think about the negative responses your message could receive.
Divide and conquer (or don’t mix your accounts) – Every company has a few social media savvy employees to manage the social media accounts. Social media managers must keep their personal profiles distant from the company’s profiles to avoid posting to the wrong account.. And always remember to manage your privacy settings carefully.
The ease of sharing information is what makes social media both a blessing and a curse. With social media, what it all boils down to is being cautious of the message you send.
Many people are dreading the timeline feature on Facebook, but most marketers are looking forward to its roll out. There isn’t much longer to wait, timelines will be activated for all Facebook brand pages on March 30, 2012. So ready or not, it’s coming to your page. How will this affect your company’s page and how will this be different from the current brand pages? Be ready for the timeline activation so that it will truly represent your brand. In fact, Facebook is giving you the opportunity to play with your timeline and view it before you publish it live.
I believe that the Facebook Timeline may be a social media marketers dream. The timeline feature allows brands to highlight important moments in the company history. Pictures will also be much more prominent on the pages. Since Facebook has more pictures uploaded to its site than any other website, this is a great way to feature images with the brand.
Here are some tips and tricks so that your brand page is ready for March 30th:
Choose your cover photo and logo – Gone are the long images that you could use for a profile image. With timeline you can really brand yourself and show off at the same time. However, there are some rules with the cover photo:
The cover photo is large and will stretch across the page. It’s best to size your cover photo to 851 px by 315 px. Anything smaller will be stretched.
It’s best to use your logo as the profile image. The size for the profile picture is 125 x 125 pixels.
Facebook wants the cover photo to be visual and does not want you to include the following
Calls to action, for example “Get it Now” or “Tell Your Friends”
You can’t ask users to Like or Share your page
No contact information, including your website, phone number, email or twitter handle, all of this information can be included on your “About” page
Prices or purchasing information such as “40% off” or “Download it on thiswebsite.com”
You can not encourage other users to download your cover photo
Photo cannot infringe on copyrights, it is best to use an image that represents your company and a photo that is owned by your organization
Wall is Home – When Timeline is activated on your page, the default landing page will be your wall. This is why your cover photo is important, this will be the first thing your fans see.
Fans posts are no longer prominent. If you have one of those fans that constantly posting on your wall and pushing your brand posts down, this is perfect. Now all posts by others are featured in one box on the right hand side.
Keep important information at the top of your page by pinning it to the top of your page. The post will stay at the top of the page for seven days or until you remove it. You can also re-pin the post to the top after seven days. To pin the post, go all the way to the right of the post where is says “Edit or Remove” and select “Pin to Top.”
Highlighting a post, the start located next to “Edit or Remove” is best for pictures. The highlighted post will spread across the entire page and appear more prominently that other posts.
Tabs are gone – All of your Apps that you have featured on the left side of your page will now be located under your cover photo.
Only four applications can be featured at a time and one of those will be your photos. So really there are only three apps that you can choose to be shown at all times. Choose the apps/pages that you most want your fans to visit.
There is a more button that will feature all of your applications and there is the ability to rearrange the apps.
Events, notes and number of likes are some of the apps that can be featured. Decide if you use these features most often or if you use other applications. For example, feature events if you host a lot of events.
All of your apps from your current page will be in your app toolbar.
Mark your timeline– This may be one of the best features of the new roll out.
Under status update, select “Milestone” and type in the date, notes and a picture or video.
Mark all of the important dates in your brands history, from launch/opening to new developments and any other milestones you would like to be featured.
Milestone events will be located on the timeline on the right side of the page. The milestone will appear when someone clicks on the year of that event. Now your fans will be able to see the history of your brand.
There are many more features for the new Facebook timeline, but this should be a great way to get you prepared before your page is automatically switched over.