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The Social Media Opportunity

A recent study by researchers at the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism shows that utilizing Facebook as a public relations outlet during a time of crisis can improve the overall image and public opinion of the organization in crisis. Researchers found participants’ attitudes toward hypothetical universities in crisis to be significantly more positive following Facebook posts, and that participants felt the crises were less severe as well.

Utilizing Facebook as a crisis management tool can work to solve or lessen the severity of a crisis, as it reaches users on a more personal level with increased perceived conversational human voice. This communicates trust, satisfaction, and commitment to the audience.

How can your business put this tactic to constructive use? The best way to enact effective social media practices is to outline a social media plan. Those businesses that fail to do so will be missing out on a major opportunity. Social media offers organizations a forum to hear negative feedback and act upon it appropriately, or as we say here at the Fallston Group, turn adversity into advantage. The Fallston Group offers a few key things to remember when engaging in social media:

Do:

  • Listen and engage proactively and reactively with customers.
  • Choose social media platforms appropriate to your business situation.
  • Take the time to learn the features and settings of various social media platforms. There are numerous instructional videos available on YouTube.
  • Deal with issues in a timely manner.
  • Turn negative issues into positive opportunities.

 Don’t:

  • Let the fear of negative feedback prevent your business from utilizing social media.
  • Delete or ignore a user’s comment, message or feedback.
  • Have multiple pages or messages. Ensure your company maintains a single media account and expresses cohesive and consistent brand messaging.
  • Abandon your account. Outdated pages often appear in search engine results and spread a negative perception of your business.

At the Fallston Group, we believe any adversity can be turned into advantage, and this applies to social media practices as well. For more leadership and advice in crisis management and communications, contact us at 410-420-2001.

Image by Jon Kvist

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