Loose Tweets Sink Fleets
May 24, 2016
With Memorial Day upon us, it's a day set aside to honor those who have served in the past and those who continue to serve our nation.
In 1942, as millions volunteered or were drafted for military duty, communication guidelines were given to soldiers and their families about the dangers of how unintended information could be leaked to the enemy during World War II:
And over 70 years later, that message is even more important with today's technology.
There are challenges for every operation expected to operate in this open and connected world. But Jack Holt, who once served as Senior Strategist of Emerging Media for the Department of Defense, looked at social this way:
"If we can train soldiers to operate technical equipment and navigate the battlefield, we can also effectively train soldiers in the proper use and appropriate social media behavior."
And I concur.
The U.S. Army is one of the branches that consistently coaches soldiers how to protect its reputation socially and there is much we can learn from them.
Here are a few tips on protecting your image from The U.S. Army Social Media Handbook:
"All organizations have a lot to say, but not everything is worth a Facebook post or tweet."
Incessant social chatter (ex: back to back to back tweets) "hijacks" News Feeds. With a critical eye, is your content "killer or filler?" Allow that question to always guide you.
Failure To Engage
"If you're not interacting with the audience, they will figure it out, and move on if they know you're not listening."
When we're not where our fans are, we're giving them permission to form new loyalties elsewhere. That includes when we're not acknowledging them socially - they'll find someone who will.
"When you stop caring and quit posting, your social media accounts still exist but they float through the Internet like no one is on board."
It reflects poorly on brands when nobody is "home." If you're not going to do anything with a social account, find someone you trust that can help. Often times, listeners and clients will define us by our social presence (or lack thereof).
"There is never a good time to lash out at a follower on your social assets."
We will never please everyone, all of the time. Have the sophistication to know how to appropriately respond to adverse reactions.
I will add to also be aware of how your overall tone feels in the social space. Just because we can say whatever we want, doesn't mean we should.
The best brands (that goes for your station or you - yourself as a talent - or representative of your company) know when to speak and when to stay silent.
Too Much Self Promotion
"Let your followers pat you on the back, don't do it yourself."
But with that said, don't retweet every nice thing your audience says about you. That's boring and self-indulgent. Use social to serve the fans - elevate their voice. Share your stage (and your access) with them.
The social space is fluid. We should always be learning.
And if you're having trouble getting everyone on the same page, you either have a training problem or a hiring problem (or maybe both) - but technology is certainly not the problem.
The U.S. Armed Forces teaches us that every day. They have much to protect - and yet they venture out and do quite well socially.
Have a safe weekend and take time to honor those who have served and continue to serve.
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
Please enjoy MERGE archives here.