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Andy’s Answers: 3 tips from Wells Fargo on social media in a crisis

My company, GasPedal, recently hosted “BlogWell: How Big Brands Use Social Media” in San Francisco, a fantastic event featuring eight case studies on corporate social media from some of the world’s biggest companies. As we gear up for our next BlogWell, in Minneapolis, on Aug. 13– featuring case studies from McDonald’s, H&R Block, Wal-Mart, CME Group, General Mills, Ford, and Progressive — I’m sharing some key lessons from San Francisco.

Here’s a few tips from Joel Nathanson — Wells Fargo’s vice president for social media programs — based on his social media engagement experience during the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression:

  • The initial listening phase is key. By beginning your social media engagement program by listening, you have a baseline to measure “spikes” against — as well as a framework for what “normal” conversation looks like.
  • Social media complements existing channels. Social media represents an additional opportunity for outreach and works best in coordination with PR, marketing, and other traditional channels.
  • Whenever given the option, take the high road. When engaging, it’s always best to err on the business side of business casual and to remember that behind every post is a real person — and to understand that when you’re responding to one, you’re responding to many.