Tips for PIOs in an Emergency

Scheduled social media posts are one of the pro-level tricks of the trade. Once you figure out what the heck you’re doing, you realize that you can never be present enough to truly stoke the fires of your audiences (More, more, they cry!). And then you find out that tools like Facebook, Hootsuite, Futuretweets and Buffer can all help you manage the burden of a full posting schedule. It also helps with not overwhelming your publics. Instead of a massive link dump all at one time, you can spread your posts out to when they’re most likely to notice and interact with you.

And then something like Boston happens. You, being the social media savvy “ninja,” are watching the whole thing unfold in real time on a number of social media channels. And then your account tweets without you. Something scheduled, something silly (go you for being a real human online!), something about how the Phillies are gonna beat the Red Sox this weekend in the big baseball series. (You know about the tweet because you follow your agency’s account so you know if anything wonky happens, like a good social media ninja.)

And now how does your agency look? Out of touch, uncaring, aloof.

You did everything right and now you’ve got your own crisis unfolding.

You missed a cardinal rule of social media and emergencies. First, check and cancel ALL scheduled posts. There are even folks out there who provide a reminder service. When the big one hits, keep an eye out for tweets like these and follow their advice:

Because there are other folks out there who are doing this:


4 thoughts on “Tips for PIOs in an Emergency”

  1. Reblogged this on The Red Elm and commented:
    Great tip from Jim here on the dangers of pre-scheduled tweets. Pre-scheduling and auto-tweeting are a good thing, overall, but never leave it there with no human intervention. You need to shut them down, if needed. And oh, by the way, you need to monitor reactions to those auto-posts!

    1. This is so true, Mar. I love to schedule my tweets throughout the day, and then when people reply or comment to me, I jump right back on Twitter and engage them. Sometimes I have to look back at what I just posted to remember!

  2. With the global reach of both marketing and #SMEM, how far removed does your agency have to be from an event for this this rule apply? Say Edmonton, Alberta and Boston. I have seen Pet of the Week posts and Fire Dept condolences tweeted from different departments in the same Municipality? I am sure that it depends but I don’t want to be the one to try and figure it out by experimenting.

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