Every day thousands of people are talking about the Red Cross online. Today’s online community communicates with friends and strangers alike to offer their opinion on anything and everything from britney spears to barack obama. It is our job, on the social media team, to identify and engage the people that are talking about us online. Our reputation matters, and we are here to both protect and understand our reputation around the world. The existence of Social media is changing the way that people expect to interact with companies and it is changing the way that people look at organizations. When we connect with the American people on their turf, we get really solid information about public perception while simultaneously displaying transparency and customer service. You can think of social media as two sides of a coin. On one side, it is an early warning system. Misinformation often makes it to the internet first and gains steam and momentum. If we can collect and correct that information before it makes it to mainstream media, we have done our job. On the flip side, social media also provides important opportunities to highlight our achievements and engage our donor base. So, Why does the Red Cross use social media? To join the conversation.
Our main goal is to engage the public. That means Listening, Commenting, and Offering useful public information. The Red Cross is so big it can seem like a huge quasi-governmental institution. Our goal is to tear down that wall, and engage people one-on-one publicly to show (not tell) how trustworthy we really are. We speak candidly with our friends online, so that they, in turn, will speak candidly with us.
There are literally thousands of places that people talk about the Red Cross online. While we monitor the entire internet daily for mentions of the Red Cross throughout all types of web sites, we keep “official presences” on just a few of those sites. All of these spaces are ENGAGEMENT POINTS- places where people can converse about what we’re doing, Ask questions, and share stories. These are a few of the sites that we use as engagement points. Are you familiar with any of them?
Twitter is known as a micro-blogging site meaning you can write very short 140 character updates for distribution to a large group of people. Our Red Cross account has 4000 subscribers for instance. Many of our chapters also have twitter accounts as well where they can push out hyper-localized messages. We have promised our subscribers to offer public disaster and preparedness information over this channel. The main goal of this site is to keep Red Cross at the forefront of peoples’ minds.
National Presence, Local Look: How the American Red Cross Succeeds in Social Media with the Help of Local Chapters
National Presence, Local Look How the American Red Cross Succeeds in Social Media with the Help of Local Chapters #ARC11NTC Kristiana Kocis Lise Harwin Gloria Huang
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Why does the Red Cross use Social Media? <ul><li>It’s collaborative and community-driven, just like us. </li></ul><ul><li>Its existence is changing stakeholders’ behavior and expectations </li></ul><ul><li>If we connect with stakeholders in the way they want, everyone wins </li></ul><ul><li>We have an opportunity to communicate in both an expansive and hyper-local way </li></ul>
Our Social Media Philosophy To create a loyal community of Red Cross investors. To help people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. <ul><li>Transparency Trust </li></ul><ul><li>Two Way Conversation </li></ul><ul><li>Being human </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Activating our enormous body of workers and volunteers </li></ul></ul>
The Social Media Handbook <ul><li>Empowering all Red Crossers to speak on behalf of the organization </li></ul><ul><li>We use the handbook primarily as a resource and a beginner’s guide for our 640+ chapters. </li></ul><ul><li>Social media savvy varies greatly from chapter to chapter </li></ul><ul><li>It’s not about setting boundaries, but showing them how to own the content and interactions </li></ul>
National Headquarters Redcross.org Blog Disaster Online Newsroom Facebook Twitter Social Media Handbook National campaigns Public Affairs team Localizable releases APAT deployments Red Cross Chapters Websites, blogs, Twitter, Facebook Face-to-face interaction Service delivery Disaster-specific content Local/regional stories Local community knowledge, know-how Familiarity, diversity
Who’s Our Audience? Chapters: Local individuals Businesses Media Government agencies (fire, emergency management) Local non-profits (best practices/inspiration) National Headquarters: National and global individuals All Red Cross workers, volunteers National broadcast, cable, print, and online media outlets Government agencies (FEMA, State Dept.) The broader public, in times of sudden crisis
Building a Local Audience: Do’s and Don’ts DO… Follow people/businesses in your geographic area Follow local media & political leaders Follow those who are popular with local audiences Follow vocal supporters or national spokespeople for your cause Follow those that: Influence your business (FEMA, NOAA, DHS) Provide inspiration (LiveStrong, Charity: Water, Beth Kanter) Offer breaking news (CNN, NPR) Are social media aggregators (Mashable, Boing Boing, Wired) DON’T… Follow every other chapter (it can look incestuous) Follow those clearly outside your area (leave them for their local office)
Other Tips for Building Your Audience Create a social media business card Include social media info on all press releases Add buttons on website and other social media sites Always talk up in mixers/partner meetings Make sure that National is linked to your local site, and vice versa
Case Studies National Message Local Audience Storms That Don't Affect The Area: Don't have to repeat every post Urge people to pass info to affected friends/family Good preparedness reminder Snowpocalypse? Talk about SUNpocalypse!
Case Studies National Message Local Audience Haiti/Chile earthquakes: Re-tweets/re-posts can ensure correct language in sensitive situations Watch for local angle (Chile topography similar to Oregon) Good preparedness reminder
Case Studies National Message Local Audience Holiday Campaign: Build a relationship and prove value before asking for money Use low dollar thresholds to spark interest Pick items that are relevant to community Show how local volunteers help here, and across the country
Case Studies National Message Local Audience Annual awareness months Constant challenge to come up with new, creative messages Extending the conversation – taking the same message and finding local examples to apply it to
Case Studies National Message Local Audience Blood Shortage: Tweak messages provided by NHQ to be shorter, punchier Be creative to find new ways to say, "Give Blood." Talk about how West Coast can help East Coast
A “Twoops” Moment When a pre-existing network of supporters helps turn a mistake into an opportunity