Strike! How to (successfully) use Facebook and Twitter during a Live event.

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  • 1.    Strike!  How  to  effectively  utilize  Facebook  and  Twitter  during  a  Live  Event  Background:  On  June  10,  2010,  more  than  12,000  Minnesota  RNs  conducted  the  largest  nursing  strike  in  U.S.  history.  Below  are  the  strategies  we  used  and  (more  important)  the  lessons  we  learned  using  Social  Media  during  an  emotional,  action-­‐packed  24  hours:   • Dedicate  someone  full-­‐time  the  day  of  the  event  to  monitor,  curate  and  edit   content  being  shared  on  your  Facebook  Fan  Page.  This  person  should  be   engaging,  responding,  commenting  and  helping  users  on  the  page.  That  means   being  parked  in  front  of  your  screen  ALL  DAY,  constantly  refreshing  the  page,   sharing  new  content  and  updates,  answering  questions,  solving  problems,  etc.   • Make  sure  your  Facebook  Fan  Page  settings  are  such  that  anyone  can  easily   upload  and  share  their  photos/videos  without  needing  approval  first.  (This  is   obviously  why  you  also  need  someone  monitoring  the  page  in  real-­‐time  on  your   end  as  well.)     • Put  out  encouraging  posts  throughout  the  day  asking  people  to  take  photos  and   videos  on  their  phones  and  upload  to  the  Fan  page.  Make  specific  asks.     • Ask  your  online  supporters  (in  our  case,  it  was  other  unions,  other  association   members  around  the  state,  political  allies,  etc.)  to  help  Retweet  your  most   compelling  content  on  Twitter,  and  to  do  the  same  on  their  individual  FB  pages.   You  also  want  to  ask  these  online  supporters  to  point  their  unique  audience(s)  to   your  Facebook  fan  page  and  the  Twitter  feed.    
  • 2. • On  Twitter,  create  a  hash  tag  that’s  easy  to  remember  (in  our  case,  #RNStrike   would  work  fine)  and  encourage  everyone  to  use  it  online  so  you  can  curate  and   collect  relevant  Tweets.  • Have  people  in  the  field  (i.e.  your  staff)  who  are  responsible  for  feeding  you   photos/videos/updates  in  real-­‐time.  That  means  shooting  stuff  on  their  mobile   phones/iPads/etc.  and  then  e-­‐mailing  or  texting  you  the  content  back  at  the   office  so  you  can  compile  it  and  upload  it  as  it  comes  in.  Better  yet,  if  you  trust   their  judgment  enough,  have  them  just  directly  upload  and  share   photos/videos/updates  to  the  FB  fan  page.    • Alert  the  mainstream  media  ahead  of  time  via  press  releases/e-­‐mails/etc.  that   you  will  be  carrying  real-­‐time,  live  updates  from  people  on  the  front  lines  via   your  Facebook  page.  As  a  result,  the  media  may  end  up  featuring  or  even   quoting  what  shows  up  on  your  Facebook  page  (good,  bad  or  ugly).  Be  ready  for   that.  You  can’t  control  every  negative  post,  and  some  of  them  might  just  show   up  on  the  evening  news.  Journalists  are  always  going  to  look  to  balance  the  story   with  the  opposing  viewpoint,  especially  if  it  comes  from  within  your  own  camp.   Accept  this  and  move  on.  • Whatever  you  do,  do  NOT  delete  critical  posts  that  show  up  on  your  page.   Instead  respond  right  away  to  critics  in  a  calm,  reasonable  and  professional  tone.   This  lends  major  credibility  to  your  page  and  lets  the  online  “peanut  gallery”   watching  know  that  you’re  open  to  constructive  dialogue  and  can  agree  to   disagree  in  a  professional  and  respectful  manner.  Remember,  not  every  single   one  of  your  members/fans  will  share  the  company  line  as  things  unfold.  Let   those  people  (especially  if  they  are  a  member  of  your  organization!)  have  their   say,  and  engage  with  them.  Try  to  win  them  over.  Try  and  turn  those  critics  into   supporters.  Use  respect,  charm  and  intelligent  dialogue.  Don’t  browbeat  or   condemn  them.  And  if  all  else  fails,  politely  agree  to  disagree  and  move  on.   Nothing  backfires  on  you  more  quickly  than  trying  to  censor  or  silence  critics   (especially  if  they  belong  to  your  organization)  online.  • Use  Google  News  and  other  tools  to  search  for  real-­‐time  Blog  posts  and   mainstream  media  coverage  the  day  of  the  event.  Grab  those  links  and  share   them  on  your  Facebook  page.  Include  some  color  and  context  with  each  posting.   For  example,  you  can  do  a  status  update  like  this:  “Here’s  the  latest  L.A.  Times   story  posted  online  regarding  today’s  strike.  Nurses,  you  are  making  history!”  • Install  the  Facebook  UStream  App  on  the  left  side  of  your  Facebook  Fan  Page  (if   you  haven’t  already)  so  that  people  can  easily  click  over  and  watch  live  streaming   from  the  picket  lines  or  the  event  itself.  Make  sure  you  put  on  your  UStream   channel  page  a  schedule  of  when/where  the  live  streaming  is  going  to  happen  so   people  know  when  to  tune  in.  (The  “upcoming  events”  you  enter  on  your   UStream  channel  page  will  automatically  show  up  in  the  UStream  App  on  your   Facebook  Fan  Page.)  • Use  a  tool  like  HootSuite  or  TweetDeck  to  schedule  some  Tweets  in  advance  that   share  the  URL  for  the  Live  Stream  or  other  key  events  that  are  happening  during   the  day  that  you  want  to  point  people  to  online.  
  • 3. • Buy  some  Facebook  ads  in  advance  of  the  event.  Target  the  specific  communities   (you  can  even  do  this  by  zip  code!)  you’ll  be  holding  the  event  in.  In  our  case,   we’d  want  to  have  the  ad  point  to  our  Facebook  Fan  Page.  We’d  also  be  asking   the  people  in  those  communities  to  support  their  local  nurses  on  the  day  of  the   strike.  • If  things  are  slow,  throw  out  a  post  now  and  then  asking  for  people  on  the  picket   lines  or  at  the  event  to  share  their  observations,  comments,  photos  and  videos.   What’s  the  mood  like  on  the  ground?  Has  the  public  been  supportive?  What  type   of  shoes  did  you  wear  today?  Any  funny  stories  or  conversations  you  overheard?   Any  celebrities  show  up?  Media  coverage?  What’s  it  like?  How  are  you  feeling?  • Rather  than  just  barfing  up  content  onto  your  page  as  fast  as  you  can,  try  to  add   some  color/perspective/explanation  to  posts  going  up.  If  content  is  posted  from   an  outside  source  without  any  explanation,  be  the  first  one  to  comment  on  the   story.  Use  that  space  to  add  explanation/context/color  as  needed.  • Try  and  build  momentum  with  each  post.  In  our  case,  we’d  want  to  tell  our   nurses  they  are  making  history  and  that  the  whole  world  is  literally  watching  and   wanting  to  hear  their  story  from  the  front  lines.  Then  encourage  them  to  share,   share,  share!  We  want  to  build  a  sense  of  drama,  a  sense  of  urgency,  and  create   what  becomes  a  tidal  wave  of  posts  and  Tweets  about  the  event/strike.  In  Social   Media,  nothing  attracts  a  crowd  like  a  crowd!  • With  Twitter,  use  HootSuite,  TweetDeck  or  another  monitoring  tool  to  track  the   stream  of  Tweets  connected  to  your  event.  Set  up  a  few  different  ongoing   searches  using  keywords  from  your  event  (in  our  case  it  would  be  terms  like   “Nurses,”  “Strike,”  etc.)  along  with  the  official  hash  tag  (#RNStrike)  and   variations  you  think  others  might  use  (#NursesStrike,  #RNProtest,  #MNNurses,   etc.)  • Engage  and  respond  right  away  on  Twitter.  When  you  see  cranky  Tweets  from   neighbors  complaining  about  disruption  in  the  area  or  rude  behavior  by  your   people  on  the  ground,  apologize  on  behalf  of  those  people  and  give  an   explanation  if  you  can.  Include  helpful  links  aimed  at  solving  the  problem  if  it’s   applicable.  (Maybe  alternate  traffic  maps/routes  for  that  day,  for  instance.)   Don’t  ignore  critics.  Instead,  engage  them.  Try  to  win  them  over.  And  if  that   doesn’t  work,  be  polite  and  move  on.  Remember,  the  peanut  gallery  is  always   watching  to  see  how  you  handle  yourself  and  represent  your  organization   online!  • Make  sure  you  RT  the  best  Tweets  as  things  unfold.  Especially  if  those  Tweets   are  coming  from  a  journalist,  politician,  celebrity  or  other  key  influencer.  Doing   this  shows  your  followers  (including  those  on  the  ground  looking  at  their  cell   phones  as  they  participate)  just  how  big  of  a  deal  this  is.  • Send  the  people  participating  in  the  upcoming  live  event  an  e-­‐mail  ahead  of   time.  Include  your  Facebook  URL  and  a  brief  pep  talk  about  why  it’s  so  important   for  them  to  snap  photos  and  videos  and  share  their  thoughts  on  your  page.  Also   include  the  Twitter  hash  tag  (like  #RNStrike)  to  include,  and  make  sure  you’ve  
  • 4. already  begun  populating  that  hash  tag  with  some  Tweets  about  the  upcoming   live  event  so  people  get  the  idea  of  what  it  will  look  like.   • As  you  go  along,  make  sure  your  “Favorite”  the  best  Tweets  and  keep  screen   shots  of  the  best  Facebook  posts  from  the  day.  Do  the  same  with  videos  and   photos,  because  chances  are  you’re  going  to  want  to  do  an  event  wrap   up/review  at  some  point  later  on.    For  more  tips/lessons  learned,  I’ve  also  created  these  resources:   • Video:  Labor  Unions  and  Social  Media  –  http://youtu.be/FWQ-­‐GJ1DqwY   • Social  Media  Tip  Sheet  for  Labor  Unions  &  Associations:   http://slidesha.re/eedWe4   • Social  Media  –  Lessons  Learned  during  2010  by  Minnesota  Nurses  Association:   http://slidesha.re/gLyYFw