Sunday, June 23, 2013

Twitter supports #abflood communications and finally excites execs

A few weeks ago I tweeted about the acknowledgement in the boardroom that Twitter could be useful.  When Twitter was used to bark out information, the food on your plate, the latest service launch or attendance at an event, the board were at best pleased that the company were using the latest medium.  While working for a large utility I supported the development of their overall social media protocol and channel specific social media strategy.  Our aim was to develop a dialogue, even if it was FU, we had a plan to respond and engage; but even that didn't peak the interest of the exec.  What has finally stirred business leaders to get truly excited is the role twitter can play to develop and maintain your corporate reputation.  Twitter should be part of the picture that builds you reputation, consistent with what your customer's experience and true to your Mission, Vision and Values. The speed and way you respond to an incident is core to how you are perceived. Finally, the exec are seeing the value of being active on Twitter.

So what makes this a topic for today?  Well for anyone in Calgary or Southern Alberta there has been a thirst for information about the floods over the past few days, #abflood or #yycflood.  I have found Twitter as ever a good source of up to date information, but supported by a media savvy Mayor the information has been accurate and timely.  Not so Alberta Health Services, who panicked water buying by saying there was a boil water advisory, without stating where the advisory covered.  It took other agencies to correct the information, on Twitter of course.  The messaging on Twitter has been very respectful, with requests not to retweet old information and directing people to further information via links to webpages.  Overall this has been a text book use of social media, and the napfornenshi hashtag has provided humour at a serious time.

What about businesses?  Well this is where the quality of communication has been very variable, from we're closed, to we need assistance, to we have this service to help you.  Is this really the time to be selling?  Is this really building your corporate reputation?  Especially in Calgary, a city committed to volunteering, where paying it forward is commonly practiced, why would you sell your services at this time?  Offering your services for free, such as the food trucks have done, or using your location to communicate the latest developments in your neighbourhood is far more valuable to you in long run, and at this time, is also the right thing to do.

If your business has been affected by the flood and you need help to get the correct message out, I can help you, at no charge.

If your business needs a social medial strategy or a review of your current strategy, please contact me.