June 2, 2020 was the day headlines shocked the globe and protests erupted across the world in response to the death of George Floyd. Social media influencers spoke out across their channels to demand change and many more went into crisis mode.
Originally launched by members of the music industry, #BlackoutTuesday started as an initiative to go silent on social media to reflect on recent events and stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
The initiative quickly went viral and social media users filled their accounts with black squares.
As the Director of Social Strategy, I felt it my duty to halt all Oktopost social media activity. I wanted to give space to the voices of the Black Community.
To do this, I used a feature inside of Okotpost that no marketer ever wants to use. I pressed the big red button. I enabled “Crisis Mode.” Within seconds, all social media activity across corporate publishing and employee advocacy came to an immediate halt.
Deploying Crisis Mode
Upon activating crisis mode, an instant email notification was sent out to all Oktopost users and employee advocates. The email included a tailored message as to why all activity had been halted. In that moment, I had a few moments to breathe.
Turning on Crisis Mode gave me a sense of control. I knew that in an instant my content calendar was paused and my colleagues knew why.
Inside of the feature, I was able to customize the amount of time the account would be in crisis mode. It was also easy to assign relevant team members to help manage our messaging during the crisis period.
What I didn’t have to worry about, in any capacity, was being bombarded with messages across company communication channels as to why advocates were not able to share content or why there were no posts going out across our channels.
This pause gave me the time needed to work behind the scenes to adjust our content calendar and thoughtfully create sensitive, relevant responses from our brand.
Aligning People and Processes
In a crisis, technology is only one important piece of the solution. With our account safely in crisis mode, our leadership team formed a task force.
With this task force, we were able to zoom out to get a better understanding of our place on social media. We were also able to connect with our employees regarding current events.
Following up on the initial alert from the Oktopost platform, our team sent a thoughtful letter to all of our employees. Inside of that email contained more detail about our plan of action. The number one rule in any crisis is to eliminate panic and have a plan.
This was our goal as we aligned the right people with new processes for the rest of the week.
Social Media and Employee Advocacy Management
Social media is a powerful medium for influencers and brands alike to build meaningful conversations, instead of remaining silent. Using Oktopost, I was able to efficiently pause social activity. This gave me the opportunity to rebuild effect content to better reflect the tone of the nation.
I have built a separate campaign called Diversity. As I learn and educate myself about how Oktopost can be most helpful, I am creating content to match. I have filled the employee advocacy board with resources on antiracism and how we, as a company, can impact change.
While I know a hashtag or image cannot directly bring justice, it is important to stand in solidarity with the Black community. Doing our part to change systemic inequalities is a responsibility we take very seriously.
Crisis mode gave me the ability to manage a social media crisis. I was able to pause, to listen, and to thoughtfully lead my team in re-building a social strategy for today’s climate.