How Agencies Can Get It Wrong...

Updated: Jan 23, 2019

As an agency professional managing brand accounts, thorough community management is extremely important. It can make or break a company if social channels are not correctly monitored, damaging both your and your client’s reputation, and future opportunities to work together.

With this in mind, we’ve highlighted key reasons to ensure your clients’ channels are regularly monitored, and closely managed.

Why Should Social Media Be Monitored by a Community Management Team?

Because your clients expect your full attention…

Social media is more than just a business tool, it’s something the majority of people use to communicate daily. And, with 42.88 million UK residents predicted to be active on social media by 2022, if used correctly social media can drive significant value for your clients.

Because the reputation of your client/s is at risk…

It’s a theme that runs through this entire post – your clients’ reputation is at risk. Especially on social media, people will let their opinions be known if they are not happy with a certain stance/event/anything – often refusing to back down even when presented with facts. It is important, then, that there is a well briefed team on standby to deal with such lines of questioning should they occur. An example of such a course of action being taken comes from American food chain, Wendy’s.

In early 2017, Wendy’s sent out a message regarding its beef, dispelling rumours that it was frozen, rather than fresh. A lot of people came out of the woodwork to accuse the brand of dishonesty, which was handled by the team. By the end of the debate, it was clear that Wendy’s did not freeze their product, which was a positive outcome.

The story doesn’t end there, however, and – in a case that highlights the importance of a flexible team of professionals, on standby to assist should a predicted line of questioning veer off topic – ended on a sour note, when a meme with racist undertones was sent by the (seemingly inexperienced) community manager on shift. The offending message was quickly deleted, and an apology issued, but the damage was done. The positive message the debate began with was completely overshadowed, and replaced with a negative message. This would not have happened had a stricter process been in place, with back up from professionals when the conversation started to take a turn, and a level of flexibility that went beyond answering questions directly related to the original post.

Their employees are online – future, past and present

Have you ever had a disgruntled employee? These days, people aren’t afraid to name and shame their adversaries in a very public forum – social media included. Negative comments from past employees can impact upon the opinion of your client’s present employees, as well as anyone considering applying to join their team. This is doubly important if you run an employment branding agency.

A prime example of this happened to HMV. A historic case in internet terms, the incident in question occurred in 2013, when management at the entertainment giant took several members of staff to one side, and conducted a mass firing. This did not go down well with one employee especially – the one that just happened to have login details for the brand’s Twitter account. In a case of disgruntled employee taking to social media that is as extreme as they come, said employee live tweeted the firing, using a few choice words when describing the situation, that resulted in the whole thing going viral.

This was not good for HMV’s brand image. And, the worst part, it was entirely preventable. With a plan in place for crisis management, as well as a clear set of rules for those managing accounts, this could have been nipped in the bud. Had senior management taken their online presence seriously enough, they may have even thought to revoke access to accounts for those being let go. And they would not have left their reputation in the hands of someone that was new to the working world – their unpaid intern. Instead, they would have left their accounts in the hands of professionals, a step we hope they have now taken.

Because your client’s want to attract the top talent

As we’ve highlighted, your client’s future staff are already active on social media, and will do their research before they even consider an interview – that’s just how today’s world works. The top talent won’t want to have their name associated with a company that has a poor reputation.

If you want to be able to promise your clients that they will be in a position to attract the best of the best, you’ll need to keep on top of their community management (message) across all public social channels, responding to queries and averting potential crises as quickly and effectively as possible. Preferably, before anyone’s opinion about their organisation is changed so drastically that they drop off their dream job list. You client deserves the top talent - don’t allow a lack of community management to hinder opportunities for progression.

… And because, if you monitor online activity, you have the opportunity to change the narrative, before negativity gets out of control

Monitoring your client’s channels is so important, as doing so can help you to control the conversation around the brands you manage. In doing so, you can turn a negative sentiment into a positive one or, at the very least, put procedures in place to help combat recurring issues.

One of our favourite examples of this in action came from KFC in 2018, during their infamous chicken shortage. After being forced to temporarily shut down 600 stores due to a supply chain issue, the brand went on to shut down negativity surrounding the failure using a simple, yet effective, approach – humour. Posting a fun message on their social channels, the brand shared an image of their iconic bucket, rotating ‘KFC’ to read ‘FCK,’ along with an apology.

The internet forgave them, and the conversation was changed – soon after, you were hard pressed to find someone that didn’t respond ‘did you see that post’ when the chicken shortage came up in conversation. The company lost no favour, and consumers returned without a fuss once the drama was over, thanks to their quick-thinking team of professionals.

But Is It Really That Big Of A Deal?

Social media is a giant, and it’s only getting bigger. An average person spends 2.35 hours accessing social media every single day and that’s just during work hours – you can only imagine how much more time is spent online during people’s free time (i.e. out of hours). Which is why, yes, it really is that big of a deal.

There is good news though, if the thought of extra work is starting to lead to panic. We have a team on hand to help. With highly trained professionals ready to assist, we are here for your clients’ community management needs, including out of hours cover and back up, and crisis management.

So, take some time to read through our service offering, and get in touch - contact Rebecca, 07741848738. You can also use our Contact Form.