Europe's most popular communications, PR
and media conversation

This week's chat

October 29, 2013 Transcript of #CommsChat on social business

It was quite the hour last week on #CommsChat. We were joined by guest @jaycoopertweets from Bloom. In the midst of an impassioned discussion of social strategy and a look at some examples of consumer-facing social – like last week’s #AskBG initiative – MD of British Gas Business, Stephen Beynon, joined in as well. His insights helped explain the Twitter chat and British Gas’ social stakeholder engagement.

Take a look at some highlighted tweets:

  • @somecallme_Jem if you don’t respond to customers then your effectively pushing them into the arms of your competitors
  • @StephenBeynon we felt we had an absolute duty to make ourselves available.
  • @adamrubins the more conversation you drive, the more you can listen. There is no greater tool within social than listening
  • @businessgp Difficult to use social in highly charged emotive situations when reason & rational thought stretched on both sides.
  • @jaycoopertweets ultimately orgs have to BE social and not DO social. Doing social = fear of the platform, fear of the conversation 
  • @jennysolomons Social media, a bit like the weather: if it’s likely to be stormy, make sure you’re wearing something waterproof!

The full hour:

block
CommsChat 

We’ll have the transcript for you in the AM and will be back next week, same time, same place. G’night! #commschat

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

 Like! It works. I’ve done the process myself… #commschat

block
Judy Gombita 

FYI #commschat: Power Byte: Utilitarian Influence — Scaling and Managing PR 2.0 Expectations [@IkePigott Interview] http://t.co/MNm6cnBBEy

block
CommsChat 

Almost time to call it a night on #commschat. Many thanks to  for his insight and direction tonight. And to all who tweeted!


block
Jenny Solomons 

  some orgs still wary of SM but staff can be brand advocates. #commschat

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

 most imp thing? Get senior buyin aka have social be part of biz strat. Have customer 1st attitude & social will follow #commschat

block
Catherine Arrow 

Absolutely – but listen first in order to determine what advocacy, content and engagement is appropriate  #commschat

block
Lauren Hutton 

 Don’t treat social as a broadcast channel, develop & tailor content & approach that engages your audience #commschat

block
Judy Gombita 

 talked to comms friend who works at UN/finds himself time-stretched re: social. “Find out what you can GIVE UP!” #commschat

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

 Start with listening, but don’t be fooled that just by listening you win. Advocay, engagement, content all as important #commschat

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

 or add social KPIs into job roles…it certainly has increased efficiency at #socbiz companies such as Toyota UK or IBM #commschat

block
Catherine Arrow 

Most important thing to do when using social is listen, then use context and understanding gained to build good relationships #commschat

block
Marc Lawn 

“@StephenBeynon:  getting a bit deep there:) #commschat” <- Like to finish with a flourish 😉

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

 I agree. To my last point, anybody within an organisation should pick up the (social) ball and run with it. #commschat #socbiz

block
Judy Gombita 

Integrating social into overall comms strategy def. takes up resources. But perhaps there’s some (paper) channel you can cut back #commschat

block
Stephen Beynon 

 getting a bit deep there:) #commschat

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

 …but there isn’t really ownership of content. Sales people use the phone different to those in accounts. #commschat

block
CommsChat 

Just a few min left of #commschat. Maybe some last thoughts on most impt thing to do when using social as part of comms strategy? #commschat

block
Catherine Arrow 

Effective digital strategy – including social – underpins communications strategy that in turn supports organisation objectives #commschat

block
Marc Lawn 

Marketing is not a function. It is the way a business thinks and behaves. #CommsChat

block
Stephen Beynon 

 agree completely. As do my colleagues. #commschat

block
Catherine Arrow 

Make social part of the whole – it is not a siloed channel and must be part of entire relationship building strategy. #commschat

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

 …I see that social should be viewed in the same fashion, thus be less panicky when emps get out wrong #commschat

block
Lyanna Tsakiris 

Looks like great #commschat tonight guys

block
Judy Gombita 

  you have to remember to include the #commschat hashtag …. c  

block

block
Katie Jones 

RT  stop using social media as a channel and start embedding across the WHOLE of the business #commschat #socbiz

block

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

 How many employees at BG have been fired this year for misusing the phone or talking out of turn down the pub…? #commschat

block
CommsChat 

 who should take ownership of social? Or should any one team/person? #commschat

block
Judy Gombita 

Nice! RT  Those moments of emotional power are a great opportunity to forge a lasting customer bond. #CommsChat

block
Jenny Solomons 

Social media, a bit like the weather: if it’s likely to be stormy, make sure you’re wearing something waterproof! #commschat

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

 stop using social media as a channel and start embedding across the WHOLE of the business #commschat #socbiz

block
Stephen Beynon 

 companies need to get comfortable with more people tweeting and not mind too much when people make mistakes. #commschat

block
Lauren Hutton 

 It’s about being where your audience is and knowing why you’re there, who you’re talking to and what you’re saying #commschat

block
Claire Hall 

MT : orgs have to BE social and not DO social. Doing social = fear of the platform, fear of the conversation #commschat

block
Andrew Grill 

RT : T’is exactly why I miss working for him! RT : Really interesting to see , MD of British Gas,on #commschat …

block
Marc Lawn 

RT  refer to my earlier answer – wait, see whether advocates have responded on your behalf #commschat

block
Kate Cooper 

RT  absolutely definitely yes. #commschat We felt we had a duty.

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

 refer to my earlier answer – wait, see whether advocates have responded on your behalf #commschat

block
CommsChat 

Final topic: What can companies do improve their comms strategies in order to integrate social more effectively? #commschat

block
Paul Brannigan 

RT : Too often we misjudge how quickly we need to respond in #SoMe so place unnecessary pressure on ourselves. #CommsChat

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

 or part of your overall biz strategy. Must align with biz KPIs, otherwise it is sunk. Comms strategies do this well. #commschat

block
Katie Jones 

With the ability to reach so many people, companies have to have a method to the madness w/ that much power. #commschat

block
CommsChat 

  meaning that social WAS part of the comms mix #commschat

block
Stacey Atkins 

.@jaycoopertweets agree – and I think that lots of organisations have a long way to go to get there, part in public/third sector #commschat

block
Adam 

 an opportunity to listen and engage with your consumer. Its ultimately part of your communications strategy #commschat

block
Marc Lawn 

A4 Having a communications strategy with clear objectives is THE critical stepping stone to a #SoMe plan. #CommsChat

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

 …there should be a biz strategy that puts customers first. In many cases, that is being social #commschat #socbiz

block
CommsChat 

 Yes, gone are the days of “we must do social” Should just be part of comms mix, #AskBG proves that to an extent #commschat

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

 1st, there shouldn’t be a social media strategy… #commschat

block
Georgina Bowes 

T’is exactly why I miss working for him! RT : Really interesting to see , MD of British Gas,on #commschat tonight.

block
Stacey Atkins 

RT  sometimes your key stakeholders or advocates are within your own building! #commschat #socbiz

block
Stacey Atkins 

.@CommsChat groundwork has to be laid a long time before to create trust. Too late to expect them to once the crisis hits #commschat

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

 ultimately orgs have to BE social and not DO social. Doing social = fear of the platform, fear of the conversation #commschat

block
Jenny Solomons 

 there would have to be a trust and sense of pride in the relationship for them to advocate for you. Or pro quid pro. #commschat

block
Kate Cooper 

  yes dont only go in for the campaign engagement. It has to be a long term symbiotic relationship #commschat

block
Stephen Beynon 

  not sure that helps in this situation. Almost nobody (as a %) who tweeted understands the facts. #commschat

block
CommsChat 

T4: Why is having a social media strategy important to a business? #commschat

block
Bernie Goodjohn 

Following #commschat tonight for first time, really interesting, particularly with British Gas pitching in to talk about their Twitter Q&A

block
Kate Cooper 

 interesting and was there a scenario plan for the hastag being hijacked or was this unexpected? #commschat

block
Marc Lawn 

Too often we misjudge how quickly we need to respond in #SoMe so place unnecessary pressure on ourselves. #CommsChat

block
Stacey Atkins 

.@jaycoopertweets  absolutely – but so many orgs create so much fear that employees are afraid to speak up online #commschat

block
Maxim 

  was going to say the same thing! And not just in a crisis. How do you get v happy clients to speak up?! #commschat

block
CommsChat 

  true for many orgs. That’s helpful for IC and IR, knowing where your people are having convos already #commschat

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

  establish & maintain a long-term relationship with influencers and advocates. #commschat

block
Judy Gombita 

.@CommsChat  accommodates the way that people WANT to receive information. A small percentage is thru social media. #Commschat

block
CommsChat 

RT  absolutely definitely yes. #commschat We felt we had a duty.

block
Stephen Beynon 

 absolutely definitely yes. #commschat We felt we had a duty.

block
Marc Lawn 

  Were people really empowered? It’s when conversation doesn’t follow the script that issues can occur. #commschat

block
Kate Cooper 

 was it a conscious decision to conduct the Q&A the same day as news broke of the price hike? #commschat

block
Stephen Beynon 

 let me know if you find out 🙂 #commschat

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

 do not underestimate the power of employees being advocates online #commschat #socbiz

block
Lisa Blackler 

RT : A3 If you don’t have a cohesive strategy you can’t unite departments behind it. #CommsChat

block
CommsChat 

How do you get stakeholders from other orgs, politics, etc to speak up during crisis in your favour #commschat

block
Marc Lawn 

A3 If you don’t have a cohesive strategy you can’t unite departments behind it. #CommsChat

block
Stephen Beynon 

 we had out Twitter team sitting in the middle of our HQ in Staines, right next to senior execs and PR etc. #commschat

block
Kate Cooper 

  i would say internal yes and externally you would focus on an advocate influencer and detractor map #commschat

block
CommsChat 

RT  sometimes your key stakeholders or advocates are within your own building! #commschat #socbiz

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

 sometimes your key stakeholders or advocates are within your own building! #commschat #socbiz

block
CommsChat 

 Hi Judy, what did they do that was noteworthy #commschat

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

 T3 also, conduct a crisis drill where you practice responding to different scenarios #commschat #socbiz

block
CommsChat 

 Is that for stakeholders internally and externally? #commschat

block
Judy Gombita 

Devoted an entire #socialPR column  to  and his work at . They are ace with social media/storms. #CommsChat

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

 T3 design a stakeholder map identifying key important individuals who will push the agenda forward #commschat #socbiz

block

block
CommsChat 

  Or to turn your audience against you irrationally #commschat

block
Marc Lawn 

 absolutely. Sadly in crisis some industries have few friends. #commschat

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

  if you haven’t built up advocates, you are fighting a losing battle #commschat

block
Everything Internet 

 Great point. Don’t panic. You don’t want to turn defensive and reactionary. #commschat

block
Marc Lawn 

Sometimes best approaching is to listen and respond appropriately later. Patience really is a virtue. #CommsChat

block
CommsChat 

T3: How do you create an effective multi-departmental strategy to respond and manage events like this? #commschat Case studies anyone?

block
CarrotCommunications 

RT : Really interesting to see , the MD of British Gas, talking about #SocialMediaCrisis on #commschat tonight.

block

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

 yes, but again think about advocates. In BG’s case, there were a lack of advocates to step in and help #commschat

block
Polpeo 

Really interesting to see , the MD of British Gas, talking about #SocialMediaCrisis on #commschat tonight.

block
CommsChat 

 Especially if they’re already feeling upset or angry toward a brand #commschat

block
Stacey Atkins 

.@CommsChat absolutely – social in a crisis will always be hard. High emotions, limitations of channels, but better to be there #commschat

block
Kate Cooper 

 and vital to manage those expectations otherwise customers will expect something that’s not viable to run #commschat

block
Katie Jones 

people can be a lot more vicious when hiding behind a computer, too. rather than saying things person-to-person #commschat

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

 listening is only the half of it, Yes, start with listening but at some point you must engage #commschat

block
Marc Lawn 

Like all charged situations it’s always better to listen, consider, then respond in #SoMe situations. #CommsChat

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

 get the KPIs & metrics in place – but plan for how to manage an escalation in the situation from an amber warning #commschat

block
Marc Lawn 

Difficult to use social in highly charged emotive situations when reason & rational thought stretched on both sides. #CommsChat

block
Lauren Hutton 

  And having a presence / profile increases expectations of engagement. Disappointing when only broadcast #commschat

block
Adam 

 the more conversation you drive, the more you can listen. There is no greater tool within social than listening #commschat

block
Everything Internet 

  Do you mean what constitutes a crisis? #commschat

block
Adam 

 it depends on your goal. All businesses that sell to the consumer should have a relationship with their consumer #commschat

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

Threshold email alerts which tell stakeholders from multiple depts when volume/sentiment of mentions reach critical point #commschat #socbiz

block
CommsChat 

 Hey Lara, don’t forget the #commschat tag if you want to take part in the conversation!

block
Stephen Beynon 

 bet it does. Lot of similarity there. #commschat

block
CommsChat 

Is it difficult to use social in a crisis when your sector is one that is already hard to communicate in, like utilities? #commschat

block
Kate Cooper 

 Ive worked with Toyota around their recalls which presents some interesting challenges #socbiz #commschat

block
Brittany Golob 

.@jaycoopertweets Must be a percentage, not a firm number as it differs per company, right? #commschat

block
Lauren Hutton 

  You can’t always predict behaviour / response, though. These spaces are still evolving #commschat

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

 In whatever your industry is, what constitutes a high enough volume of mentions to be cause for concern? #commschat #socbiz

block
Marc Lawn 

 I am sure that is true. Few understand green levy etc. I think timing of tackling is so critical that’s all. #commschat

block
Stephen Beynon 

 so do I. Difficult when you have such personal abuse etc. though. #commschat

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

 have a definition of different levels of social media crisis. #commschat #socbiz

block
Everything Internet 

 I’d be curious to know what how that would be possible. If there’s a test strategy out there. #commschat

block
Stephen Beynon 

 there’s so little understanding of the facts in this area. #commschat

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

RT : Got to admire  for joining tonight’s #commschat

block
Stephen Beynon 

 don’t think so. Not completely sure though. #commschat

block
Marc Lawn 

Hi  there may also be times where it’s better to just accept sentiment rather than justify own position? #CommsChat

block
Lauren Hutton 

  Esp. if orgs look responsive in these spaces, or there is an active community ready to offer advice #commschat

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

 we advocate a WHOLE COMPANY approach to reputation mgt where you activate multiple depts http://t.co/jd4H2aGCqY #commschat

block
Maxim 

Got to admire  for joining tonight’s #commschat

block
Stephen Beynon 

 it didn’t seem to lack it internally. Bert is a very senior guy. He knows Twitter. He had support. #commschat


block
Everything Internet 

 Did you do anything to test the waters before you launched the hashtag? #commschat

block
CommsChat 

So crisis happens, T2 deals with what you can do about it: How do you develop an appropriate crisis management plan? #commschat

block
Phil Rumens 

 When something a company does adversely affects the majority of its customers, it’s best not to invite comment. #commschat

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

 what sprang to mind was a lack of cohesion within BG, pure and simple. #commschat #socbiz

block
Stephen Beynon 

 second: we should have used a personal account rather than BG. People less inclined to be abusive to a real person. #commschat


block
Marc Lawn 

The key is being flexible to what appears in front of you, not trying to control what appears. #commschat


block
CommsChat 

Sorry all, Tweetchat fai. , thanks for joining discussion. Do you think customers took advantage of your oppenness? #commschat

block
Jemma Redden 

 true. Online live chat and call back requests are also popular #commschat

block
Lauren Hutton 

Limited understanding of power of social media re reputation, not knowing how to respond, limited or no social media function #commschat

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

 yes, it is well known that O2 respond faster on social channels than over the phone. Look at #giffgaff#commschat

block
Stephen Beynon 

 first: we shouldn’t have used a hashtag. No need for it. It acts as a lightening rod and helps weak journalism. #commschat


block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

 sometimes you should wait a couple of ours before reacting – your advocates may jump to your defence #commschat #socbiz


block
Lara Gilchrist 

 many customers are turning to FB and Twitter instead of using email/phone as they are more likely to get instant reply #commschat

block
Stephen Beynon 

 after talking to loads of people in different companies, I’d say we’d do 2 things differently next time. #commschat

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

 agreed, look at our Halford’s vs Wiggle article which covers just that. http://t.co/vaw37P1HBM #commschat #socbiz


block
Stephen Beynon 

 we felt we had an absolute duty to make ourselves available. #commschat


block
CommsChat 

.@jaycoopertweets A la ‘I shop at Waitrose because’ #commschat

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

 don’t forget there are benefits. Your customers are there, you need a presence. But do it joined up! #commschat

block
Adam 

 the pitfalls are further damage to your reputation. Large organisations lose sight of the importance of the customer #commschat


block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

 customers can hijack the openness to vent their frustration with your organisation #commschat

block
Jemma Redden 

 if you don’t respond to customers then your effectively pushing them into the arms of your competitors #commschat

block
Marc Lawn 

“@jaycoopertweets:  or that the biz strategy is completely different to the social strategy #commschat” <- so true

block
Adam 

 a fundamental mis-understanding of the use/importance of social. In a crisis it’s best to react, not invite criticism #commschat

block
Everything Internet 

You should be aware there will be opposition and hijackers and have a strategy in place for when it goes south. #commschat 

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

 lack of understanding of what it REALLY takes to engage socially with customers. A bit of box ticking mentality here #commschat

block
CommsChat 

What are the pitfalls of doing something like #AskBG or even not responding effectively to customers on social? #commschat

block


block
Everything Internet 

It seems like a good idea at the time; a “quick” way to gain awareness and followers. #commsChat 

block
CommsChat 

RT   or that the biz strategy is completely different to the social strategy#commschat

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

 or that the biz strategy is completely different to the social strategy #commschat

block
CommsChat 

Why do we think an org would do something like invite people to chat via Twitter, w/o having appropriate mechanisms internally? #commschat

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

The 2nd barrier is a lack of sponsorship from senior management team #commschat #socbiz

block
Marc Lawn 

A1 There is general no overarching comms strategy so social sits in it’s own world. #commschat

block
CommsChat 

I think often social is not given enough flexibility/authority to make its own decisions in a crisis or not #commschat

block
Marc Lawn 

A1 Organisationally traditional businesses try to control social media so lose authenticity. #commschat

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

The 1st barrier is that operating as departmental silos where one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing #commschat #socbiz

block
Marc Lawn 

Yo yo yo as they say at Christmas time 😉 #commschat

block
CommsChat 

T1:What common strategic and organisational barriers prevent companies effectively responding to social media crisis like #AskBG#commschat

block
CommsChat 

Our first topic is topical to something on everyone’s mind now that the seasons have officially changed: energy #commschat

block
Jay Thorogood-Cooper 

Good evening here from blustery Sussex #commschat. Thrilled to be here.


block
CommsChat 

Tonight will be all about social strategy (or lack thereof) so have your questions, thoughts and opinions at the ready #commschat

block
CommsChat 

Evening all, Hope you all survived #stormageddon! Brittany here from Communicate, joined by  from Bloom. #commschat

See what others are talking about "Brittany Golob"


: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments

No comments yet.

Leave a comment