Over the last few hours, anyone watching the news, listening to the radio or following the Twitter accounts of the major news outlets in Newcastle will have probably heard the news of a massive sinkhole that has appeared in Gosforth.
An image that was picked up by BBC Newcastle, ITV Tyne Tees, Press Association, The Chronicle and the Independent Online, was taken by our designer Nathan Donnelly, and came directly from our Twitter feed. And, some of you may have noticed that we have received a great deal of credit for supplying the image!
Being one of the UK’s leading social media agencies, with a team of trained in house journalists, our first thought for news stories is always social media. Every day we create news updates for all of our clients, and provide with the latest news in their industry from all over the web.
Today however, it wasn’t us sourcing the content from news outlets, they were calling us for updates. Following the tweet, which was sent to our biggest local influencer, The Newcastle Chronicle, we had endless journalists contacting us for permission to use the picture.
The message we are trying to convey is not that of the sinkhole, but of the power of smart phones and Twitter. Ten years ago, a story like this would have been phoned in and any photographs would have had to be uploaded and sent via email, whereas today it takes seconds for this information to reach the feet of the press.
While we understand the instantaneity of social media will be of no surprise to anyone, it is worth noting the effects it can have on your business. Over the last few hours we’ve had endless calls and interview requests. We can deal with these. We deal with enquiries for our clients everyday, and we are trained to deal with them. But, are you?
Dealing with media and customer/client enquiries can take big chunks out of your day, and as we all know, social media is instant. That doesn’t just mean that your posts are instant. It means that interactivity should be instant too. When people reply to a post you place on social media, they expect you to acknowledge it with a response, and they expect it to happen quickly. If you don’t reply quickly, that lead will be lost, and their attention will have gone elsewhere.
From the minute we sent the picture of the sinkhole this afternoon, our Twitter notifications haven’t stopped, and we have taken the time to reply to every person who has got in touch. We do this everyday for each of our clients between 9am and 9pm 365 days a year, and today we have had to do it on our own Twitter account to ensure our business received credit for the news we had created. This is great publicity for any business, and if you do not manage it properly, you could be losing out.
We know sinkholes are not going to occur every day, but social media can go wild at anytime, and you need the right people on hand when it does!