With Operation Protective Edge activities on the rise, we are all trying to find the best ways to communicate with our audiences, to provide comfort to these people that believe in you and your brand, and to show them that your organization is on top of the issues at hand.
Why Social Media – Communicating through social media is the fastest and most efficient way to reach your participants and followers en masse. What’s even better is that you have control of the words being posted and you can create a positive and comforting message. This can also ensure a positive association with your company and external happenings going forward. Using social media avenues such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn also empower others to use their own voice and respond. These forums also enable you to time your posts so that your audience in the USA and other countries can see your letter at their most appropriate time. So use as many social media avenue as you can and start talking with your networks!
1. The Opener – The first sentence or subject to your post needs to immediately provide your audience with what they are looking for: TRUST IN YOU! Immediately soothing the anxious minds of parents, donors, or future participants can enable your reader to confidently trust in the words that follow in your letter. Below is Onward Israel’s opener in their address letter:
2. Acknowledge the Issue – With dozens of articles and news stations to tune into, your audience is reading your post to learn about what’s going on without all of the fluff and mixed messages. They want, and deserve, to hear the truth about the situation from you, a source they are involved with. 3. YOUR Reality – The beauty of social media is that we can post in “real time,” however this means that people expect to learn about what’s happening at that moment. Illustrate how the situation is currently affecting your organization or program; maybe a trip went on an alternative itinerary or maybe some people were relocated. Using a picture or video can illustrate this positive status and enhance the your audience’s confidence in your company. Taglit-Birthright does this well! “These days are challenging…but I just came back from visiting groups who are hiking Masada” – CEO, Gidi Mark.
4. Share Your Plan – When a crisis it out of your control, comfort comes from knowing you have a plan in place. Sharing the people and places that you are connected with in case of a crisis illustrates that you were thoughtful and proactive before the incident even arose! This also adds to the legitimacy of your organization and allows your audience to be a part of each step of the process.
5. Be Helpful – Having someone’s contact information can be a huge source of comfort, even if that phone number or e-mail address is never used. Putting your own contact information, or a crisis-specific address, is a way to make the outreach more personal and makes your audience feel like they will receive individual and focused attention. Other ways to be helpful include listing news sources or hotlines they can turn to for more information – hyperlink these websites, including your own, for easy use. Creating your own hash tag, such as #bomahupdates can also be a great way for people to follow updates through you and your brand. MASA – Israel Journey:
6. The Power of “We” – Using “we” statements creates a sense of community and personal attention to all people affected in the situation that are reading your letter. That sense of community also encourages people to respond to your post and to be active in your efforts to further reassure your audience.
7. Specify Your Audience – Your network ranges in level of participation, age, location, etc. and you may want to communicate with each group a little differently. Through your Facebook Fan page, you can target your audience and post letter’s specifically written for them!
8. Be Social! – By posting on social media venues, you are enabling and encouraging others to engage with your posts, so you must engage back! Respond to each question, “like”, and “Thank you” quickly. Special shout outs to parents, like the one below from Birthright, are a way to show your appreciation!
9. Back to Normal – It’s easy to get caught up in posting updates about military efforts or what the UN is saying, but it’s always important to focus on implementing your vision. Once things simmer down, write another letter saying that your program is back on track!
* This is a strategy for social media outlets – engaging with media sources takes on a different strategy entirely.Sometimes, when it comes to media, it is best to not talk at all!
Read more and learn about our social media strategy!