Here are some statistics on social media policy in the workplace!
Social media has provided an incredible platform for businesses to interact with consumers; however, this new form of communication has caused several complications. Social media networks facilitation of rapid interaction between customers and companies leaves room for errors made viewable by millions in a matter of seconds. In particular, Twitter is a powerful tool for brands to directly communicate with fans, build relationships with consumers and circulate knowledge about their business. With over 100 million monthly global active users, half of whom log in daily according to Twitter CEO Dick Costolo’s “State Of The Union Address,” Twitter’s incredible influence can be seen.
With 230 million micro-blogging tweets sent out each day, marketing campaigns can be stormed by consumers, tweets perceived as improper can receive backlash, and customer service is put under heavy scrutiny. Every single tweet that a business sends out can make a large impact due to the intrinsically viral nature of Twitter. On February 15, 2011, the American Red Cross showcased a problematic feature of social media with their Twitter account.
The above tweet appeared on the Twitter account of the American Red Cross, demonstrating an incident viewed by the public as inappropriate for the emergency assistance humanitarian organization. An employee of the American Red Cross, Gloria Huang, accidentally tweeted the personal message on the nonprofit’s official Twitter account. This mistake resulted from her use of an online application called HootSuite, which can support more than one Twitter account at the same time.
Although the tweet was harmless, it was unprofessional and could have potentially damaging side effects for the brand as a whole. More than 268,000 people who followed the American Red Cross’s Twitter account at the time were able to view this error due to the nature of social media. However, the response by Red Cross to the incident serves to exhibit how an organization can turn a social media mistake into something good. Quelling potential public relations issues, the company tweeted a humorous follow-up after deleting the original post.
The Red Cross followed the tweet with an explanatory blog post titled “Twitter Faux Pas” just a day later. Utilizing self-depreciating humor, the blog post states “While we’re a 130 year old humanitarian organization, we’re also made up of human beings. Thanks for not only getting that but turning our faux pas into something good.” This statement was referencing the positive effects of the company addressing the issue. The phrase #gettngslizzered was a trending topic on Twitter at one point during Wednesday of the incident. Dogfish Head Brewery, the beer brand referenced in the original mistaken tweet, encouraged people to donate to the Red Cross.
Reacting to the beer brand’s request, several donors responded with tweets stating they donated funds or blood. Even more people were impressed with the company’s calm response, and this turned the accidental tweet into a cause to rally behind. Breweries and pubs in many of the states that distribute Dogfish beer started offers giving beer for blood. A bar in Austin called Flying Saucer tweeted, “Show us you donated a pint @redcross today & we’ll buy you a pint of @dogfishbeer #gettngslizzered.”
The blog post by the Red Cross further goes on to thank the Dogfish Head Brewery and the micro brew community for encouraging donations. Ending their post with a touch more humor, the humanitarian organization urges users to exercise caution by recommending waiting to give blood after drinking a beer for health reasons and to be careful of HootSuite. By addressing their honest mistake and realizing that they couldn’t hush the incident under the rug due to social media’s ability to make something viral, the American Red Cross turned the incident into a positive event.
Social media networks provide the opportunity for interaction with consumers on a highly viewed platform, and sometimes this can lead to errors. Keeping accounts updated with proper information through multi-network platforms such as Tweetdeck or HootSuite can sometimes go awry, and the misfired along with ill-considered tweets resulting can cause powerful backlashes. However, keeping in mind a good social media policy that reacts to these situations with a calm and professional response can turn these mishaps around.
At the age of 17, Dale Partridge started his first company which he sold a mere two years later for 50,000. Establishing several other companies, the young man moved on to create considerable profits. His current venture though? The company he started in 2011 called Sevenly which has raised nearly $250,000 for charitable causes across the globe.
The company is based off a model in which every week of the year, the business partners with a different charity. Using a unique T-shirt that promotes the particular charity, Sevenly garners money for great causes. The shirt is offered for sale through the Sevenly website, and for every T-shirt sold, Sevenly gives $7 to that charity. The end of the week long campaign sees a check to the charity for the amount of money raised.
Partridge states that he owes all his success to social media. When he was in school with his business partner, he had an influential reach with his social media followings which totaled more than a few million fans combined. The business owner states that he didn’t do print advertising, radio or TV; instead, they utilized social media. Not even google ads! Nearly all of the revenue they garnered was acquired through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Instagram and Pintrest.
The topics he utilizes to inspire his followers go around comedy, doing good, fashion, art and faith to appeal to a younger community. They select the charities by using the ones they truly believe in, and do a lot of vetting in the campaign direction. The money must be used exactly what the campaign is supposed to be for and cannot go to operating expenses.
The misconception of social media networks being used solely by teenagers and those wishing to connect with friends is slowly evaporating with time. Multiple charities have begun social media to change the world. The ancient charity Tung Wah Group tapped into this viral resource to raise cash for a good cause.
Founded in 1870, the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals now utilizes Facebook and YouTube for philanthropic efforts. Viola Man Yee-wai, chairwoman of the organization, utilizes her twenty years of experience in marketing international brands to promote the charity to the young generation which invades social media.
The group provided medical, funeral, and other services to the underprivileged local Chinese; however, it has expanded to include hospitals, education, and rehabilitation. The group raised over ninety million in 2012 by the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals’ TVB charity show and other means. The organization’s leader fiercely advocates charities using Facebook, YouTube and other social media to reach their campaign goals.
The company’s use of social media has been extremely successful with their campaign. The number of clicks from just the first dew days when the Tung Wah Group TV commercial was uploaded on YouTube was over 30,000. Video coverage was 530,000 on Facebook and the viewership reached 30,000. The amount of Facebook fans the page had increased by 1,500 and the company garnered over 5,000 likes in the first week alone. The company dukes it out with over 6,000 registered charity organizations in Hong Kong alone to garner attention.
Read the interview with her here:
Social media can be a great way for brands to interact with consumers, and this can lead to exponential gains in success. However, without adherence to a strict social media policy companies can go wrong quickly when using social media for rapid communication. With the ability for things to go viral in a matter of seconds with social media, companies have to pay close attention to what they are putting out on the world wide web so they don’t damming their brand. Bad social media PR tactics can destroy a company’s standing in a short period of time. Nestle found this out the hard way, and effectively turned their 90,000 followers into upset consumers.
The Greenpeace campaign protesting Nestle’s “unsustainable palm oil policy” led to mass accusations of the company being the driving force in cutting down the rain forest. Many fans began to post angry comments on the Nestle Facebook page. In reaction, the company took an unfortunate route with regards to PR.
The company posted a request on its Facebook page stating, “Nestle fans, don’t use an altered version of the company’s logo as your profile pic, or your comments will be deleted.” The reaction from the brand’s followers was instantaneous. The message itself wasn’t the problem however. The company posted follow up responses that were perceived by fans as rude. The moderator of Nestle’s Facebook page responded with comments like, “Thanks for the lesson in manners. Consider yourself embraced. But it’s our page, we set the rules.” This response has been thus perceived as an example for companies across social media networks on how not to interact with users.
Although Nestle eventually did recover, the process could have gone must faster had they responded appropriately. Nestle took 50% longer to return to their pre-crisis average than a similar company’s social media crisis who responded much quicker.
Take a glance at the Greenpeace video that sparked all of the accusations below: