Social Media Win: A Radio Station That Listens

It’s far too easy to focus on all the negative things in life, especially in this slippery social media scene that people are still getting a handle on. As a friend of mine quite wisely observed just yesterday – “social car crashes are compelling.”

As compelling as an epic fail may be, it’s still important to shine a light on all the little wins. Here’s one I prepared earlier.

A few days ago one @chess65 decided to share something of interest on the ABC Radio National Facebook Page. This was not a spammy comment, or something completely out of context – it was a link to Sounds of Australia content – something that may well be liked by people who like Radio National.

Moments later it was moderated into oblivion. How this turns into a win, and what that says about ABC social guidelines after the jump.

She does the next logical thing, and voices her complaint on Twitter – a place where her comments are much less easily tampered with.

This may not sound like a social success story, but bear with me, we’re not at the end of this tale just yet. It’s quickly retweeted by @erikajoy and… that’s where the buck stopped. The Radio National Twitter account swooped in with a response, swiftly apologised for the mistake, and made sure the offended party knew that action was being taken.

The best case scenario would have been for the post not have been removed at all, but mistakes happen. All in all, this is a fairly desirable outcome for everybody involved. Whoever was moderating over at Radio National learns a valuable lesson (and likely wasn’t punished too severely), @chess65 and @erikajoy feel both vindicated and valued, while Radio National managed to quickly quash some possible bad PR before it had the remotest chance of spinning out of control. Pretty satisfactory.

Alright, so maybe it wasn’t the largest crisis in the world – but that’s the best part. ABC / Radio National are very clearly doing things right, they have active social channels, they monitor them for customer feedback and they act on that feedback. They recognise the growing importance of this space, and they’re growing with it accordingly. This is made explicitly obvious when we take a look at ABC’s use of social media guidelines for employees.

UPDATE: As pointed out by Thomas in the comments below (thanks!) these are likely to be in relation to personal accounts, whereas branded accounts such as the Radio National Twitter account are more likely to be restricted to these lengthy rules. Hopefully someone from ABC can straighten this out. Regardless, by (barely) restricting use of social on a personal or brand level, great things can happen.

Here come the guidelines:

  • Do not mix the professional and the personal in ways likely to bring the ABC into disrepute.
  • Do not undermine your effectiveness at work.
  • Do not imply ABC endorsement of your personal views.
  • Do not disclose confidential information obtained through work.

By only having four basic umbrella rules, entire worlds of innovative use, content generation and customer care are opened to employees and the ABC audience alike. They strip away red tape, lengthy approval processes, and allow individuals to react quickly when appropriate. Which inevitably leads to little social media wins like the one described above.

The idea here  is that if you (the company, the person, whoever) avert enough little disasters, you’ll be more prepared to take on a big one – if you even have to.

@tali3sin

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4 Responses to Social Media Win: A Radio Station That Listens

  1. For the record, I believe the 4 basic umbrella rules apply to ABC staffer’s personal twitter accounts. ABC branded accounts, like the one mentioned, are subject to the rather more epic ABC Editorial Standards – http://www.abc.net.au/corp/pubs/edpols.htm

    Irrespective, I have to agree that the issue was beautifully handled by Auntie.

  2. David Gerard says:

    “pure brand” is an excellent curse to apply to social media exploiters.

  3. erikajoy says:

    David : “pure brand” is an excellent curse to apply to social media exploiters.

    a horrific insult in social media land! haha

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