Keep In Touch With Your Audience Even If You Don’t Have All The Answers

We, along with most of the country, experienced the polar vortex last week. We had several days advanced warning that this could potentially affect whether we had school and anticipated that we would see a rise in questions and comments on our social media channels. The feedback we received reminded me how important it is to keep in touch with your audience.

The first really cold day fell on a Sunday and the second on a Monday, which meant we only had to make a decision for school on one day. As Sunday afternoon came, our social media channels began blowing up with comments and questions regarding a decision on school. A decision hadn’t yet been made but that afternoon we posted a message that we would make a decision by 5 p.m. that day and to stay tuned. Although we did still receive comments that we should close, it seemed to make most people happy. The simple message let people know we were watching the weather closely and hearing their concerns. We eventually did call school and posted that on social media as well.

The message about making a decision soon not only kept our audience informed but ended up being a great marketing strategy. The message was shared more and generated more likes to our Facebook page than our actual no-school message did.

This story was a good reminder to always keep your audience informed. Even if you don’t have all the answers yet, let them know you are listening and paying attention to what they are saying. It is better to tell them you are listening and working on getting the answers than to stay quiet and have them feel like they are being ignored. In addition, this helps to build authenticity and respect for your social media channels.

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3 Replies to “Keep In Touch With Your Audience Even If You Don’t Have All The Answers”

  1. I’d be curious to know what your social media response is when you get a flood of negative posts about a decision not to close? Sometimes, it’s a difficult decision, and in light of unpredictable weather, not always the “right” one.

    1. Melissa, thank you for your question. I apologize my response is so long.

      Snow/cold days are never easy. No matter what your decision is, you will NEVER make everyone happy.

      When you receive negative comments the first thing to think about is it an opinion, a question or a misrepresentation of facts? We make a very clear distinction in our District. We want people to provide feedback on our social media channels, even if that means they don’t agree with us. However, if they have misinformation, we take the opportunity to tell them the facts.
      I think it is also important to remember that not every comment needs a response. Sometimes people just want to express their concerns.

      In your situation, I would address it by making one response that included these talking points:
      • We here your concerns.
      • The decision to cancel school is based on several factors (maybe even list a few).
      • Remind them that parents always have the choice to keep their kids home if that is what is best for their family.

      Chances are you are not going to change their opinion about your decision. You will however reinforce that someone is listening to their concerns. That is important! Sometimes that is all someone wants to know.

      Good Luck!

      If you’d like to talk more, feel free to email me at kmorrissey@paplv.org.

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