Is Your Content Getting Trump’d?
Day after day, a political bomb drops and blows Twitter to smithereens. At this point, you’re acquainted with the drill. Unexpected news comes out of Washington at a rate that’s hard to keep up with, and it can be hard to know when it’s “safe” to post for your brand.
It all started in a Koch Communications weekly staff meeting when one of our employees asked about pulling content when big announcements came out of the nation’s capital. It occurred to our team that Twitter was beginning to react to each bill that Congress was considering, each Presidential Executive Order (EO) and each protest as a crisis.
As every big piece of news drops, the entirety of Twitter becomes a place where each person voices his or her opinion about each action the government is taking, good or bad. While this issue has been amplified over the last several months, it’s not contained to just politics. Other events like a shooting or high profile court case can bring the same disruption to social media channels. It feels uncomfortable to post from that trusty content calendar because you really never know when it’s going to get overshadowed by much larger issues at hand.
SO HOW DO I KNOW WHEN TO PULL CONTENT?
Trust your gut. (If you’ve got a good one.)
When a crisis or national event completely takes over a platform, it’s standard protocol for Koch Comm to review our content for the day and, if necessary, move it to a later time or another date entirely. If you have scheduled content, be aware of what you have going out and when. If you have something that’s time-sensitive and now is the only time you can post, then make that call and hope for the best. For example, live concert coverage is a big deal for some of our clients. Even if an EO drops on a Friday night and straight blows up Twitter, we’re still going to cover that concert. The show (and live coverage) must go on.
Know your audience.
On a normal day, measuring analytics is something we can lean on for best times to post, but it’s not necessarily the best strategy for dealing with unexpected crises. Posting anything during times when Twitter is crowded around another topic can be a risky game. It can make your brand look insensitive or tone deaf.
Struggling to identify whether your audience is concerned with the news? Create a private list on Twitter of a large sample of users that represent your audience, and use that list’s feed as a litmus test to read whether they are engaged with the crisis or not. Use your list to help develop specific tiers of events and a plan of action for each tier. One tier of events might lead you to halt posts altogether, while the other two tiers may result in scaling back or continuing business as usual.
While local issues often impact what we’re posting on Facebook, content rarely is pulled or paused for national issues. The Facebook algorithm determines the timing of when and what users see. The algorithm determines what content is timely and relevant for each individual user, and it will serve users the content based on what they care about. The real-time nature of Twitter is of more immediate importance for protecting your brand.
In short, read the pulse of your audience and don’t be afraid to pull back to protect your brand. If you know your audience well, your knowledge and instinct is your best guide to help you decide when your content should get Trump’d.