From managing multiple social pages to engaging with and building customer relationships, social media scheduling tools such as Hootsuite, Buffer and TweetDeck offer a range of benefits to businesses who share news and content online.
While these social scheduling apps and tools can save businesses valuable time by allowing posts to be bulk uploaded and scheduled well in advance rather than every day, it is important that businesses using them are still reactive to local, national and international news and changes that may have occurred within the company since the messages were planned.
Reacting to bad news
Recent tragic events such as the Manchester Arena bombing and Grenfell Tower fire have devastated countless families and communities. Following events such as these, many people turn to social media sites to access the latest information from news sites and public bodies such as the government, police, hospitals and fire service. But when visiting Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media sites, they may also be faced with badly timed or insensitive posts from businesses, individuals and celebrities.
While some of these will have been posted in the heat of the moment or without full knowledge of breaking news that is unfolding, many more will have been scheduled in advance and not thought about since the upload button was pressed.
How can businesses protect their reputation?
Whether it is a light-hearted post which will sit badly with people who are reacting to upsetting news stories or a planned post about someone in your company who has maybe left on bad terms in the meantime, it is important that the people responsible for uploading your company’s social media messages monitor what they have scheduled and add in new posts if they need to react to breaking news.
Start your week by checking your schedule
If you plan and upload your company posts a month in advance, take 10 minutes each Monday morning to check what will be going out that week and make sure it is still relevant and appropriate. Cancel anything which could be insensitive to either current events in your company or the wider world.
Show people you care
The aftermath of bad news events is not the right time to promote your brand or business, but you can show you care by sharing a message of sympathy to victims. Offering financial assistance or other relevant help to those affected, or changing your profile picture to a viral image which people can easily associate with the tragedy are options for you to consider.
Drop the corporate language
Posts should be kept simple and hashtags should only be used if they relate directly to the event, don’t include any of your usual company, brand or industry hashtags as this will be viewed as profiting from other people’s grief.
Don’t be afraid to apologise
If you do post something which is received negatively by your followers – perhaps you scheduled an early morning post and didn’t have chance to cancel it before you checked the morning’s news – apologise, accept your mistake and show your support to those affected by the tragedy.
Getting social media right can be a scary proposition for businesses who don’t specialise in it, leaving many choosing to say nothing rather than saying the wrong thing. Working alongside a team of social media experts who can get to the heart of your business, discover its key messages and make sure your target audience are hearing and responding to them can help you to share your news and react when things don’t go to plan.