Social media has become the de facto way of communicating and staying informed. In a recent study, GlobalWebIndex found that social media users have an average of eight accounts across platforms and spend two hours on them daily. This trend, however, is not exclusive to personal use: Social media has become a vital asset for corporate America. According to a study from the University of Massachusetts Center for Marketing Research, all but six of the organizations in the 2016 Fortune 500 use some sort of social media platform. Twitter, in particular, has proven to be useful for publicly traded companies, and their PR and crisis management teams.
Direct and Immediate Connection
Since it was founded in 2006, Twitter continues to grow at an incredible rate. The platform's 328 million monthly active users send about 500 million Tweets per day; its 280 character-limit allows for communication between an organization and its customers that is both fast and efficient. According to eMarketer, most American organizations with more than 100 employees use Twitter for marketing. As that number continues to rise, positive results are already rolling in: Companies that use Twitter as a social care channel can expect to see a 19% increase in customer satisfaction; in response, customer service interactions over Twitter have increased by 250% in the past two years. With the right strategy, businesses can foster direct access to customers that improves engagement, support, and ultimately, profitability.
A Space to Develop Your Organization's Voice
Social Media is a place for companies of all sizes to relate to their audience in a specific tone. Denny's Diner, for instance, has forged an award-winning comedic Twitter voice that has garnered praise from its followers and set high stakes for its competition.
Companies like Denny's challenge other brands to create online identities that not only excel at customer service, response, and PR, but execute every communication in a unique and memorable style. Sure, consumers will want to follow your account to remain up to date about brand initiatives, but now there's an opportunity to attract users with a new value proposition: your own voice.
Quick Response-Time with Hashtags
The “#IceBucketChallenge," a campaign which raised money for the ALS Association, went viral in the summer of 2014 with over 6 millions Tweets. The challenge involved individuals posting videos of themselves getting dumped in ice water; celebrities like Chris Pratt, Oprah Winfrey, and LeBron James helped garner the #IceBucketChallenge initial attention before it quickly spread around the globe, galvanizing support and
What can brands learn from news-driven social media campaigns like the #IceBucketChallenge? That the power of trending hashtags can drive behaviors and measure user-response. When Pepsi launched its controversial ad with Kendall Jenner in April of 2017, Twitter reacted with the rally call "#BoycottPepsi," swiftly informing the company that the video had missed the mark. Consequently, Pepsi pulled the ad and released an apology statement. Without social media, Pepsi's crisis management and PR teams wouldn't have been able to gauge its audiences' reactions so quickly, and an attempt at reconciliation would likely have been delayed.
But Increased Connectivity Means Increased Security
While social media is an invaluable tool to connect a business to its audience, it also introduces new opportunities for hackers. Late last year, Sony Music's Twitter account was hacked and disseminated information that pop star Britney Spears had passed away. The update sparked outlets to report the alleged death and soon outcry erupted among the singer's fans. Sony's PR team then had to do damage control: It deleted the Tweets, sent out a formal message of clarification, and apologized to Spears and her supporters. As social media continues to gain momentum, a critical question warrants attention: How can organizations keep threats at bay, while protecting their reputation and customer loyalty?
With early notification systems, companies can learn how they're being perceived by their audience, adjust brand positioning in response to specific events, and stay aware of pre-trending topics and any opportunities to capitalize on virility. These tools can also keep an organization's crisis management teams aware of any security breaches within its industry; for instance, even if your company has not been hacked, early notifications of other hacks will afford you the time to preemptively update and increase security measures. This will ensure the safety, continuation, and success of your business' social media accounts.