Lessons in social media strategy

What Stop, Drop, and Roll Teaches Us About Social Media

Posted by Jeff Lamboy on October 02, 2012

Last week we shared insight into strategy versus tactics when it comes to social media. That post demonstrated how important it is to be prepared, and made me think of my childhood and an important elementary school lesson: STOP, DROP, and ROLL!

This was a strategy for remaining calm under pressure, and tactics for resolving the problem.

Social media can feel a lot like a fire. It can get out of hand quickly; if you’re not prepared, every event is truly an emergency worthy of dropping everything in a state of panic.

Fire! Wait, it’s just a drill

Nothing gets more attention or cuts through the clutter faster than the instant communication that social media commands. Twitter in particular delivers an instant zing. It’s concise, it’s powerful, and it packs a punch in just 140 characters. It’s tempting, but don’t fall prey to the possible panic that is caused from customer complaints having a new place to reside.

Customers know that companies are big, a little slow, and have yet to master social media. Armed with this knowledge, a consumer can call out a company or a specific employee and share some unfavorable and unwelcomed attention. The result: employees tripping over one another to deliver a hastily crafted response.

Stop, drop, and roll

And now it’s happened, that Tweet-bomb you’ve been dreading — what to do you do and what do you say?

Stop and take a moment to listen and assess the situation. What is the tone, frequency, and meaning of this message? If it is a legitimate complaint noting an unfavorable experience, address it. Demonstrate how you truly care and offer sympathy and a true solution.

Drop the personal feelings and reactive state of mind that a message like this evokes. Rely on your social media and customer service strategy to determine your response. Do your best to diffuse the situation and convert the opportunity into a positive outcome.

Roll with the punches. Everyone has a bad day and needs an outlet — don’t take it to heart. Instead, know that someone needs your help and they need it now. They want their voice to be heard and to be assured that someone is really listening. You need to be that someone.

Develop a strategy and act on your passion

Social media is the perfect communication tool that shows you care about your customers, your passion, and your business. Honesty means everything, and even a hint of insincerity can damage a relationship, lose an audience, and result in a true disaster.

To learn more about how social media fits into an overall content strategy, consider downloading our Marketing Plan for Growth. It’s free, and is packed with helpful information to get you started.

If you are struggling to develop a social media strategy, know that you do not have to do it alone. No matter your needs, Digett can help you plan and execute a marketing strategy that helps you connect with your audience.

[Image: Loco Steve]


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Submitted by Mark Figart on Tue, 10/02/2012 - 1:33pm

Wow, Jeff. I see so many parallels in this post to the book I'm reading (a second time) called "Emotional Intelligence 2.0". I guess what this says to me is that online relationship management shares some similarities with "real life". That is, those who can control and/or harness their emotions, and display true empathy, are much more likely to succeed in business and beyond. Well said!

Submitted by Jeff Lamboy on Tue, 10/02/2012 - 3:26pm

Hi Mark and thanks so much for your note. I think you hit on a key point: this is indeed a relationship. Bradberry & Greaves offer great insight into self-awareness, social awareness and how emotions guide actions. Taking the time to truly listen, assess & understand, and then engage offers both customers and service providers the best opportunity at a positive outcome.

I appreciate your insight and for adding to my expanding reading list, thanks!