Social Media Storm Survival Tips
Tip #1: There will always be haters. Deal with it.
If you aren’t thick – skinned enough to read all the negativity,
Find someone who is.
If staffing is an issue, find interns and web-savvy staff
Tip #2: Identify the usual suspects and DNFFT.
Keep a running list of haters and their handles / blogs so you know who
they are when they pop up.
Some people you can turn around, but some people you can’t.
Identify these people quickly.
Know when to respond and when not to - pay attention to tone and
Tip #3: Build a monitoring system that works for you.
No org can afford to ignore what’s being said about them.
Brand monitoring is NOT a 9-5 job (in fact, planned attacks are usually after hours or on
the weekends) so you must have a system in place.
• Dual monitors with Tweetdeck
• Tweetdeck for iPhone
• Tweetbeep and Google Alerts
• Hootsuite / CoTweet
• Text messages
•“As it happens” Email alerts
• Weekend “on-call” schedule
• RSS feeds
• Monitoring software (Radian 6, Filtrbox)
• Management software (Hootsuite,
Tip #4: Make your commenting policy known. And fair.
We often get accused of deleting comments and members from the opposition
on our Facebook Fan page.
If you delete something, tell your fans and tell them why.
We only delete posts with profanity, spam, personal attacks, or misinformation.
Simple disagreements are kept to preserve transparency.
Don’t be afraid to use blocking features – common practice.
Tip #5: Stay on top of the latest trends so you’re prepared for the next big thing.
Tip #6: Take the time to get staff and exec buy in.
Don’t just show them your fan page, get them one.
Get them using the tools if they are the least bit interested.
If not, try a more passive approach like setting up a daily digest of your
Twitter feed to their email
That way, when you find yourself in a Social Media Storm and in need of
help / support / additional resources – they will understand
(more on that later…)
Tip #7: (and maybe the most important) Be proactive.
Take the time to build up a fan base and build trust with them so they’ll
Come to your defense in time of an attack
Follow and participate in hashtags / memes, and create your own
Retweet / comment back often
Follow people who mention you
Answer all incoming questions
It’s ok (not creepy) to respond to people who aren’t following
You but that you’re monitoring. You can make good friends
Turn these people into ambassadors, interns and employees!
Track number of mentions, comments, blog posts, and followers
over time. The goal is to get more people talking about you!
Tip #8: Have a response process in place
We have a process in place with our online and PR teams:
• Monitor sites in real-time, all day, every day
• Evaluate what is necessary to respond to
• Develop a response with PR
• Deliver the response via the medium it was generated
• Monitor the conversation following and engage as necessary
• Alert everyone in the daily news meeting
Don’t take it personally. Always be respectful but don’t be
Afraid to show some personality.
BREATHE. Get up and take a walk before you respond.
If you find yourself in a Twitterstorm
•Listen to the what — and to the who.
• It's OK to say, "We don't know.“
• Address the crowd where it's gathered.
• Tone matters.
• Explain how you'll address the specific
• Talk about what you’ll do to prevent it from
Transparency & open
Have a company policy – you may
think its common sense… it’s not!
It’s not new. Just add social media to it.
NEVER post something you wouldn’t want
on the front page of the New York Times!
(Or something you wouldn’t want your mother or boss to see!)
My advice to employees
Director of Emerging Media
The Humane Society of the United States
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