Grand Prix fans are some of the most engaged fans of any sport on social media. That fact not only provides opportunities but such a large audience can also represent risk. For businesses, social media means being agile and quick to respond when they need to.
I think we need to embrace it and do more with it as a sports marketing proposition. But it is very problematic to manage and stay abreast of.
We court the media. We need the media for our share of voice to get our messages and our partners’ and sponsors’ messages across, so of course we have to be engaged.
It does feel like a mob sometimes. Twitter’s got about 970 million people currently registered: about fifty per cent of them are people who write something; the rest are like myself, observers who sit there and use it as an information aggregator. That means there are now 500 million self-appointed “bedroom bloggers” with 140 characters to say exactly what they like.
There are now 500 million self-appointed “bedroom bloggers” with 140 characters to say exactly what they like – Jonathan Neale
The fact that everybody has a view doesn’t mean that all of those views are of equal importance of carry equal weight. But the fact that they have the right to speak and that you can then mood sense from this by looking at different communities or aggregating the data is very useful, and therefore we have to learn to embrace it—but at the same time we don’t have to kneejerk react to every closet blogger who’s got something that they want to get off their chest. We just have to recognize that that’s one of the things we have to live with, but we certainly don’t have to be yanked around by it.
Sometimes you have to roll with it and hope that the messages that you are conveying and your actions, which hopefully follow your values, will win out over time. We have a belief in our fundamental values. Over 50 years McLaren has been a successful organization: what it takes to win a race is still largely a very similar formula about the chassis, the drivers, the powering; but what it takes to be a successful organization over 50 years is constantly evolving. We have to stop and look at ourselves and reinvent ourselves, but the values don’t change.
As Jonathan says it is not possible to control what is written about a business on social media. That said, it is nonetheless important to have a social media monitoring plan which sets out how you monitor what commentators are saying about your brand (whether good or bad). The plan needs to be clear as to where and what media you are monitoring and prioritize what coverage is important.
Companies can also use social media to their benefit when they engage effectively with customers, fans and even detractors. Transparent, responsive and respectful social media interactions can work to increase brand strength.
The days of sitting down and drafting a press statement are over with the unforgiving speed of social media – Jane Caskey
In the era of social media it is more important than ever for companies to also have a crisis management plan that specifically identifies social media and what the response will be in case of adverse coverage from disgruntled customers or angry bloggers.
Sophisticated companies have run through multiple scenarios, and run test cases, they have this completely ready to go. The days of sitting down and drafting a press statement are over with the unforgiving speed of social media.
Readiness and agility - these are the things that matter when managing social media.