13 June 2012
Gemma French, Account Executive

The importance of a Social Media communications strategy

Dominoes

The development of ‘mass media’ platforms have grown considerably, from print in the late 15th Century, recordings in the 19th Century and then the 20th Century bringing us radio, television and theInternet. Technology is developing rapidly, creating more opportunities for the world to connect, now with blogs and other social platforms so accessible, online commentary and news now spread thick and fast.

We now live in a world that is increasingly connected. Social networking has enabled us to all be news sources and with the majority of the world owning a smart phone, we are able to upload news with just a click of a button. Of course, speed is exciting and everyone wants to be first with the latest news story or the jaw-dropping gossip that will promote a certain amount of ‘hits’, but how damaging or beneficial is this to companies and their brands?

The recent three-day network failure by phone manufacturer, Blackberry, is a case in point. The smart phone brand had continuous problems with its service, who nearly half of its users were without use of their phone for three to four days. Yet despite this, Blackberry had seemingly little communication, both reactive and proactive, on social media channels for customers and no real update as to what was actually happening.

This apparent lack of strategy and resulting action not only created a customer revolt but also has undoubtedly damaged Blackberry’s brand over the long-term.

The distribution of information is crucial and calming, and ignoring social media platforms can be further damaging to brand values and reputation. Just as it is easy for social media sites to be a platform for breaking news, they should also be seen as a positive way to communicate with others quickly and efficiently.

It is vital for all companies to know exactly what needs to be done in a crisis situation, small or big.  A plan should be in place for all types of issues and include guidelines on how to effectively handle the news and the speed in which it travels.

The world is now a global communications platform from which we can all talk to each other to either shout our opinions or voice our beliefs. I like to use the expression, ‘the domino effect’, as this gives the definition of a chain reaction whereby the spaces in-between the connection of communication are relatively small. The domino effect can be of a negative or positive nature, highlighting the way in which news travels and how it travels fast. With future trending of technology kept in mind, we should look forward to optimizing new opportunities to communicate efficiently rather than focusing on the challenges of the past.



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