Social Media Engagement: The conversation is happening now – with or without you…

Corporate circles active on Facebook were going crazy wondering why their Facebook fan pages’ likes are dropping so drastically today. Its simple, according to news.cnet.com Facebook is getting rid of fake accounts, likes and users! ( http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57521074-93/facebook-trashes-fake-accounts-users-and-likes/ )

This has been a point of discussion in social media circles for a while – when will corporations understand the need for engagement and not increasing likes and follows?

It is best practice to outsource your social media activities to a digital marketing agency as it is very extensive and creative work. However, the grievance of any digital agency is the same; clients are always asking for increased likes and follows for their brands. So far it can be managed by using applications that ensure large numbers of fake profiles to get the deed done. Guess what? This approach doesn’t do anything for your business.

The key is to engage! A simple three-step process really…

1. Be Present:
Consumers today expect companies they do business with to have a social media presence. By being there you give them the satisfaction of being accessible and having the capacity to move with the winds of change.

2. Listen:
Consumers expect brands to listen and acknowledge when they have feedback to give. This is real-time market research, brands learn more about their target audience by hearing them out and understanding their needs.

3. Act:
Acknowledgement can only be communicated via engagement which is what you must do in order to maintain an active social media presence. This gives you the opportunity to improve according to the needs of the consumer and recommend them of any misconceptions they may foster.

Community isn’t developed through campaigns it’s developed through continuous, authentic engagement. The rules of social media are being written everyday – brands that experiment, innovate and engage will see the most success.

Avoid a Disastrous Event – Cancel!!!

In today’s fast paced life, anything can happen at any given time; may it be civil unrest or a natural disaster, one can never predict. In such scenarios it is likely that a media event will definitely take a big hit with no-shows and cancellations. Know that it is perfectly acceptable to cancel your event; however, a change in plan such as postponement or cancellation may lead to confusions and even complete disasters. It is advisable for any PR pro to always have a contingency plan ready to be put into action if such a scenario occurs.

The name of the game remains the same – COMMUNICATE!!! Here’s how…

– If you do decide to cancel, email/text all invitees (speakers, sponsors, presenters, media partners, and everyone else involved in the event) immediately. Mark it as URGENT in the subject line to maximize readership of the message.
– Post daily updates on your website and Facebook/Twitter channels about what you’re doing to wind down the event.
– For your regular contacts, show the courtesy of calling them personally and informing them of the change in plans.
– Try and use other PR tools to salvage the news dissemination. Send the news out via emails and fax. Arrange for exclusive sound bytes with local press via phone/email/skype etc.
– Be available and accessible for invitees to be able to get in touch if needed.