Don’t Just Set and Forget Your Social Strategy!
Building a solid social strategy takes planning, preparation and liberal use of the “schedule” button on your management system. But a scheduled post that lands at the wrong time – say during a major news event – can wreak havoc on your brand’s standing.
Here’s how to avoid a potential reputation disaster when building out your social media calendar.
Stay Current On The News (Even If It’s Just Reading The Headlines)
There’s a ton going on in the world right now. Our news cycles are growing ever shorter and more able to serve up “breaking news” snippets as they happen. If you’re scheduling your posts weeks – or even days – in advance, you run a very real risk of posting something that will at best just disappear among the headlines, be entirely tone deaf, or even worst offend your audience.
Avoid insensitive posting by knowing what posts are coming down the pipeline. (This is way easier if you have a proper calendar that outlines content themes and types.) Keep them in mind as you scan the news throughout the day. If a major disaster, important death or political scandal happens, get ready to reschedule or pull your posts altogether.
Keep Your Posting Options Open
Sometimes you know you want to post about a special event, but you’re not sure how it’s going to go down. You can make sure you’re reading the room right by preparing a few variations ahead of time and posting the one best suited to the climate of the moment.
Take the inauguration, for example. My DC friends all had congratulatory posts ready to go out – but with a few backups and alternatives depending on how the big day unfolded. Another example is sporting events. Pretty much all of your game-day content can be scheduled, but it’s always great to have “we won!” and “we tried!” options waiting in the wings depending on the final score.
Get a Second Opinion When Posting About a Special Day
Social isn’t just about conversions: it’s about conversions. Don’t let the need to push your products and services on social make you forget that there are actual people out there reading your posts. When posting about a special day, a person of significance, or a weighty topic, get input from an expert before putting your content out in the world.
Case in point: for Martin Luther King Day we saw a bar posting an ad that read “I have a dream…of ½ price margaritas”. Oof. Not really the way a great man should be remembered. Needless to say, the ad was pulled – but the angry discourse continued for a while after. If you’re going to be creating content that deals with politics, history or cultural issues, get a second set of eyes. Even then, be humble and mindful in how you post, and be ready to take down your content if it doesn’t land the right way.
Staying informed about the real world and taking an active role in your social media strategy is crucial to your brand’s reputation management. You’ll be able to post timelier, more relevant content – and minimize the risk that you’ll commit the kind of social media faux pas that will land you on a Buzzfeed epic brand fails list.
Bottom line: Social Media is NOT a set it and forget it medium. Take the time, be informed, be ready to pivot.