This page features photos of my own work, inspirational quotes, thoughtful conversation, and useful information for enhancing your own social media engagement.
Twitter Handle: @ChrisRob729
All original content © 2012-14 Christopher R. Houston, All Rights Reserved
Although I have primarily worked in the shopping center management industry, I have seen enough to know that the presence of inclement weather presents a unique situation for a variety of businesses that answer not only to their patrons but also to their employees.
The mall world is unique in that our management decisions during an incident of inclement weather impact both our shoppers and the employees of our tenants. People are very quick to judge the actions of a business during a case of bad weather. They assume that a business is staying open purely for profit, with no concern for the safety of their customers, shoppers, patrons, employees, etc. Your fans will be quick to criticize you if this is not handled well.
Here are some tips for handling this type of situation:
- Be Proactive – When you first receive word that a storm is moving through, make sure you acknowledge it and let your fans know you are watching the weather patterns. It lets them know that you really have their safety in mind.
- Tone – You should avoid making last minute updates that read like the scrolling highlights at the bottom of a newscast. Be professionally casual and address your fans like you would a good friend. Keep your brand voice as human as possible. Let them know that you hope they stay safe.
- Give Updates – Even if you don’t have anything new to report, if 6-8 hours go by and your fans haven’t seen you update them, they will start to get nervous and post on your page asking why you haven’t done so. Let them know you are monitoring the situation and what planning stage you are currently in.
- Give Thanks – After everything has blown over, make sure you thank your fans for their attention and being patient as you went through this process together. They will appreciate you leveling with them and being honest.
In addition to Facebook posts, I also like to create a section of our websites that contain updates and storm safety information. Just remember to treat your fans like friends and not customers and they will ultimately thank you for it.
I have posted about Pinterest content strategy a few times in the past, but wanted to take a moment to discuss the actual infrastructure required to launch it in the first place. I did this recently and thought it would be a good idea to share my process with others.
1. The first thing you are going to want to do is set up a “dummy” email account to use when setting up the actual Pinterest page. If you are creating the page for someone other than yourself to use, this will give you a little more control over the Pinterest account in case the password needs to be changed or if a new employee takes over the project.
2. When the time comes to create the actual Pinterest account(s), remember to set up a business page and NOT a regular, personal page. I made this mistake and had to go back and convert 16 accounts from personal pages to business pages. You can create business pages via the Pinterest for Business section of their website (http://business.pinterest.com). Creating a business page gives you more tools to engage with the Pinterest community and recruit more followers at a faster pace.
3. Now it is time to set up the basics of your profile. Resize and optimize whatever profile picture you’d like to use so it fits into a 160x160 pixel thumbnail. You have a total of 100 characters to use when naming your company or business and 200 characters to describe it. You can then add your website information, business location, and link the account to both Facebook and Twitter.
4. At this point, I suggest pre-making some boards and filling them with a few pins so that your page doesn’t look empty when people first start to view it. Make sure the boards are relevant to your brand and whatever goal you are trying to accomplish. I also suggest following other relevant boards on Pinterest that will help provide you with future content to share on your own page.
5. Now it is time to start advertising your presence on Pinterest and sharing some awesome content!