With so many newsrooms and individual journalists embracing Twitter, Facebook and the like, it’s worth taking note of what other big organizations have learned about how to handle social media. I ran across these tips from Scott Roen, a vice president at American Express, in (of all places) the November Costco magazine. Are you or your newsroom guilty of any these social media faux pas?
Ignoring the competition. Every newsroom has TV sets tuned to the other stations in town. But are you monitoring what those stations and other local media are doing on social media? Use a Twitter tool like HootSuite, TweetDeck or TweetBeep to keep tabs on the competition.
Ignoring what your customers say about you. Most newsrooms are doing a better job than they used to of paying attention to audience comments and complaints. But some may still be wary of responding in a public forum like Twitter. Roen argues in favor of engagement. “Demonstrating that you care enough to reach out and fix a problem can showcase your business in a very positive light,” he says.
Arguing on social media channels. Responding is one thing. Getting into a public argument is something else. Don’t go there. It may even be worse than not responding at all.
Failing to live up to promises and commitments. If you make a promise on Twitter or on your website, make sure you keep it. “Dropping the ball in public only exacerbates negative consequences,” Roen says.
Wasting time. Experiment on social media channels before you jump in with both feet. Sign up as a consumer first and play around, Roen advises, especially when it comes to some of the newer entries in the social media marketplace. And when you decide that it’s worth taking the plunge, remember why you’re doing it. “Focus your posts on items that matter to you and your business,” Roen says.
What other cautions would you add to the list?