Saturday, December 26, 2015

Crisis Management: Facebook Comments and The Silent Majority

As social media becomes increasingly ubiquitous, crisis managers often monitor social media to gauge stakeholders' reaction to the crisis. The volume (and syntax) of Facebook likes, shares and comments are tracked and analyzed to guide the crisis management team's public response to the crisis.
 
While useful, recent research has shown that Facebook likes, shares and comments may not be representative of the public's true sentiments. This is because, recent analysis of Facebook comments made during a crisis, reveals that the majority of comments come from a few vocal opponents of the company/ organization. Thus, while the user engagement rate (used as a proxy for public angst) is high, this is artificial as the angst is contained within the few vocal opponents of the company/ organization.
 
As such, while engagement rates do provide some insights into public sentiments, they need to be analyzed against the reach of the Facebook post. The same study revealed that there were many instances in which Facebook users read a post about the crisis but chose not to act and this number is assessed to be representative of the silent majority. Thus, in a scenario where there is high reach and a high engagement rate which is confined to the vocal minority, crisis managers can safer assume that the impact on stakeholders is not high.
 
As a guide, crisis managers should use social media monitoring as one of the data points to be considered when assessing stakeholder anger. Using it together with other assessment tools like ground surveys and focus groups will give the crisis manager a more accurate sense of the situation and will minimize instances of over-reacting.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Social Media Marketing Tip: Company vs Community Page

Like it or not, having a social media presence is essential for small business success. Some studies have shown that as much as 90% of all buying purchases start online and close to 96% involve some sort of social media search.
 
It is thus not surprising that Singapore small businesses are taking to having Facebook pages. One of the main advice we give our clients is to complement their company Facebook page with a Facebook community page. The former is akin to "above the line" marketing, while the latter is an approach to soft-sell their company's product and services. This is especially important for countries like Singapore, where Singaporeans do not like to like company pages. A community page, which provides useful and trending information about the industry, is therefore more likely to garner more likes and have greater reach.

Whenever we tell clients to do this, almost all the clients will say that it is an excellent idea, but they do not have the time to produce the contents to manage their company page, let alone develop content for a community page. To be honest, where a Facebook community page is concerned, content is the least of the worries. Creating a successful Facebook community page is as simple as identifying 5 to 8 related pages and sharing their contents 2 or 3 times a day. Using Facebook's page manager, the administrator of the page can do this on the go. As a guide, the related pages should be a good mix of popular pages mixed with interesting (but credible) less popular pages. This way, your community page is not only sharing trending contents, but contents that are less well known.
 
In a sense, if you do not have time to set-up and manage company page, it is easily to set-up a community page. With a community page, most of the contents are already readily available on Facebook. All you then need to do, is to create and post the occasional ads for your own company's product and services. The other major upside to this approach is that since it is not seen as an "ad", the word of mouth effect will up the credibility of your company's product and service.

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At CW Fong & Associates we believe that everyone knows how to use social media, but not everyone knows how to use social media. If you want to create a social media presence for your company or organization, email us at anna[a]cwfongandassociates.com.
 
singapore social media experts
 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Crisis Communications: Singapore's Minister of State Teo Ser Luck Denies Comment

In an interesting turn of events, Singapore's Minister of State Teo Ser Luck denies that he had made the controversial comment about foreign worker preferring to sleep without mattresses in dormitories. The Ministry of Manpower, on whose Facebook page the comment appeared, clarified that the comment was made by a Facebook page administrator and the Ministry regrets the unintended implications, and any misunderstanding that the post had caused.
 
crisis communications tip teo ser luck
 
Instead of abating the negative publicity for Teo, the Ministry's comments only fuelled further anger from netizens. Most netizens view the statement as an attempt by Teo to push the blame, with many doubting that it was possible for a lowly civil servant to post on behalf of a Minister without the Minister's personal clearance. Netizens have also alluded to Teo's poor character where he takes credit when things are positive and blames the FB administrator when things turn out bad.
 
So where did Mr Teo and/or his PR team go wrong? And, more importantly, what can public personalities do to avoid such faux pas.
 
At CW Fong & Associates, besides focusing on what contents to post for our clients, we also have an Out of Bounds (OB) list. This OB list comprises contents or images which the personality (and our Team) should never post on the personality's social media accounts. In Mr Teo's case, as there is a strong pre-existing perception that Ministers in Singapore have lost touch with the common man, having an OB list would have prevented a post commenting that foreign workers prefer to sleep on hard boards instead of soft mattresses. As the comment reinforces the negative image of the personality, the social media post is a clear invitation to be flamed.
 
Given the nature of social media, knowing what not to post is as important as knowing what to post. In our experience working with companies and personalities, the OB list is often unheard of. Not surprisingly, it is those companies without the OB list that get into trouble on social media.
 
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If your organization does not have an OB list and needs assistance in developing one, contact our social media consultants at anna[a]cwfongandassociates.com.
 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Social Media Management Tip: Leveraging Facebook Shares

Similar to location, location and location for properties, when it comes to social media, it is all about shares, shares and shares.
 
Users of social media platforms share contents with their friends which they find interesting and insightful. Unfortunately, when contents are shared, the originator of the content may or may not be included in the link. When this happens, companies lose the opportunity to raise awareness for their own brands.
 
One effective way to leverage on Facebook shares to brand your company, is to create an infographic with your company's logo embedded into it. This way, whenever the content is shared, your logo is shared with the infographic. Singapore's UOB used this technique well when it created the following infographic on gift-giving trends. As this is the Christmas season, the infographic is topical and hence likely to be shared.
 
positive example of social media marketing
 
For more social media management tips, follow us at SG Social Media Guru.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Social Media Marketing Tip: How Facebook ranks your posts

Getting maximum reach is top of the mind for all social media marketers. Social media platforms on the other hand filter posts to give their users the most relevant contents. This is where understanding the algorithms of social media platforms separates the good social media marketers from the great.

As a guide, Facebook has an internal ranking of users' posts. Of course Edge Ranking (or a variation of it) continue to influence what users see, but Facebook also considers the type of post uploaded. Generally, video posts are ranked the highest and they will appear on the News Feeds of your fans. Next on the list are posts with pictures and text, followed by pictures alone and finally text alone.

Understanding this algorithm, CW Fong & Associates advises our clients to never post text alone. Where possible, always find an accompanying picture to post with any announcements they want to make. Using this one simple tip, will increase your reach as it moves your post up 2 ranks.

Conversely, if you are a crisis communicator and, for strategic reasons, want to "inform" stakeholders without drawing unnecessary attention to your message, you will simply post a text. Doing this, will help ensure that your notice does not get too much attention.

For more social media marketing tips, follow us at www.fb.com/cwfongandassociates.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Social Media Insight: Is Donald Trump Really Winning?

In recent days, the world has been rocked by Republican front-runner for the US Presidency Donald Trump's comment on his plan to ban all Muslims from entering the US. As the world and, many US citizens, denounce Donald Trump view as un-American, observers are puzzled as to why Donald Trump continues to rise in popularity.

Being the media savvy businessman that he is, Donald Trump is clearly manipulating social media to create this effect. An analysis of his recent post will show that he has cleverly used three social media techniques to perpetuate this false impression.


Firstly, Trump uses Avatar (Dan Vieira in this case) to fight his social media campaign. Next, Trump used his Avatar to comment immediately after his post so as to shape the conversation and to create the perception that other Americans held similar views as Trump. And thirdly, Trump boosted the Avatar's comment by driving likes to keep it at the top of the comment list so that it continues to shape and influence the online conversation.

Thus, as far as we can analyze, Donald Trump's comments are very likely not representative of the American people and he is not as popular as people are led to believe. Unfortunately, most Americans do not have the social media sophistication to see through Trump's trickery and many will be lulled into joining the bandwagon and voting for Trump simply because they think others are.

Social Media is a dangerous tool. Used wrongly by someone with the know-how, or money to buy the know-how, it can literally be used for unethical purposes. We can only hope that the adage that you cannot lie to all the people all of the time will come true and Americans will realize that they are being manipulated by Donald Trump and not vote for him.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Social Media Marketing Tip: Inform, Educate and Entertain

Congratulations! You have successfully set-up your company's Facebook page.

Now what?

Surprisingly, this is a common question we hear from many Singapore small business owners. This is because business owners see social media platforms like Facebook as an ends and not a means to an ends. All the small business owner knows is that he needs to be online. Somehow, many assume that by just being online, something magical will happen. This cannot be farther from the truth.

The other common mistake that many small business owners make is to use their Facebook page as a direct marketing platform. Post after post they "sell" to their fans. The truth is, no one likes your page to be sold to. So if you keep selling, you will lose your fans. Fast!

So what is a small business owner to do?

The main role of social media marketing is to help businesses build and maintain mind share. This top of the mind recall is important as it puts you in a position to sell when the client is ready to buy.

With this as the approach, contents on your company's Facebook page should seek to inform, educate and entertain your prospective buyers. For example, business owners can share information about developments in the industry, educate their fans on how they can use their company's products or even post random jokes to boost the mood. Done consistently, a business' Facebook page will become a valuable source of information for your prospective buyers. Once this happens and the page becomes the "go to" page, this will then enable the small business owner to soft sell their product and services.

Social media is different from traditional media. Business owners must understand social media and how best to leverage it. While it may not be wrong to use traditional media concept and approaches in your company's social media campaign, it will however not bring you the return on investment you desire.

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