The Interwebs were aghast last week, chiding McDonald’s for tweeting “we’ll be in touch” to Charles Ramsey after he helped rescue a woman held captive in a house on his street.
The story of the three women held in Cleveland is tragic. We can all agree on that.
And, we all have our opinions about when it is a good time, if ever, for a company/brand to jump into a news event, using social media.
And sure, we’ve all learned more about Ramsey since May 6, and since McDonald’s tweeted about him on May 7. (If you’re not aware, Ramsey said he was eating McDonald’s when he heard screams for help).
But the armchair social media gurus were certainly quick to call out the restaurant right after they tweeted, and of course, in the days since.
Even though none of those gurus and ninjas know the company’s social media culture inside and out or know how their decision to tweet on May 7 was made.
Should McDonald’s have tweeted what they did? That soon? Were they on the same page internally?
We all have our opinions on this. But really, that’s for McDonald’s and its employees involved in this to discover, debate and learn from.
We’ve certainly reached a point where companies and brands who see their name mentioned in the news, and living in the moment with what they know at that time, are finding it very hard to resist being nimble and creative - and doing “something.”
After all, there are millions of armchair social media consultants online during a news event offering their unsolicited expert advice, telling companies and brands what we should be doing, right?
But we can all agree that the kind of news event dictates the decision to tweet or not to tweet.
A kidnapping, with heartbreaking elements to the story played out for a decade, is one thing.
A U.S. Senator reaching down to sip from a Poland Spring water bottle over and over during a live televised speech is another.
By the way, Poland Spring was ripped for not doing anything in social after that. Yet, as some reports suggest, the company’s sales bumped up - and they didn’t say a word in social.
That was their call to make. They know their culture. Their team weighed the consequences of adding their voice to the story and made their decision.
Whatever the news event… For those of us who work in social, who will continue make decisions like these in the months and years ahead, we will continue to evaluate the cost of saying something against the cost of doing nothing.
These are often complex decisions to make. But they are not life or death decisions.
But if the news event that we’re tempted to chime in on actually does involve life or death, it’s best to sit it out in social.
The “success” of a business blog comes up quite often in conversations I have with both colleagues and friends.
While all of us managing corporate or brand blogs would love to have audiences of thousands of readers every day, right off the bat from our very first post, that’s just not how it works.
So why is there still an expectation that your business blog should be an instant, overnight success?
Perhaps our increasingly shorter attention span society is to blame.
News flash. Setting expectations is critical. Especially when talking to company leaders who you need to bless your blog plan before you begin - and while you are up and running.
When it comes to blogging, yes, it is the proverbial marathon, not a sprint, to success for most companies.
It takes times to become a place that people interested in your company and brand want to visit, again and again.
It takes time for you to build up a library of valuable content people can find online when they’re searching for you.
If you’re growing your audience you are doing something right. Even after one, two, three years.
If your daily audience levels out, that may actually be the peak of what you can expect. That could be defined as success too. Niche industries and topics fit into this.
Here’s what it comes down to - Every piece of content on your blog that people find interesting or helpful, combined with every single small, daily interaction you have on a social channel about that content, will keep people coming back for more.
That’s how people get to know you. That’s how they learn that you will give them something they want to see.
Company blogs, done well and with purpose, are not going anywhere.
Make sure you have a good plan for content and engagement.
Then, give them some time.