​​According to PwC’s global crisis and resilience survey in 2023, 69%t of business leaders reported experiencing a crisis over a period of five years, and yet only 35% of survey respondents had a crisis response plan that is crisis agnostic.

Odds are you and your organization fall into that bravely ill prepared lot that haven’t taken the time to put together a plan for when a crisis hits. How will you know when a crisis is happening? What will you post to social media? How will you respond to comments and backlash?

That’s what Chad Israel is here to help us with on this episode of Social Pulse Podcast: Retail Edition, hosted by Agorapulse’s head of Strategic Partnerships, Mike Allton. You can listen to the entire episode below or read on for the transcript.

Chad is currently serving as the LinkedIn channel lead at Microsoft, where he’s guiding strategy for metaverse marketing, social strategy, influencer marketing, crisis management, media relations, and top-of-funnel marketing initiatives. He’s a results-driven marketing executive with a proven track record of creating award-winning integrated marketing strategies for brands, and he’s known for being able to break down strategy into small bites leading to tactics that are simple to execute and measure.

I know you’ve got tons of fantastic stories and tactics to share with us, but I want to start with just letting the audience know more about the work that you’re doing at Microsoft today and how you got into that role.

Chad: Sure. Well, first, thanks for having me today, and I wish I could take you along with me to every meeting that I have to be my own intro hype person. So thank you for those kind words.

And at Microsoft, it’s pretty simple. I help manage our LinkedIn content and our content strategy, channel strategy for our regional sites that are in the East and Gulf Coast regions and also for the Bay Area. 

I like to just tag myself as a LinkedIn data nerd. I love diving into the platform. It’s one of the more unique ones that provides a very ambiguous sort of algorithm that lets social marketers figure out every day with a lot of testing and learning. And that’s one really amazing thing with Microsoft. It is a strong test of culture. Again, we build on those learnings and even pick apart some of the failures that we’ve had in our efforts, as well just to reverse engineer some of those ideas and see if we can make that spaghetti stick on the wall.

Mike: Very cool. Now just to clarify, you said you’re running LinkedIn for multiple Microsoft locations. 

Chad: Sites. So we have a bunch of regional engineering sites that are located strategically across the country. And, again, those are positioned when it comes to customer base, types of businesses that serve the government, institutions, financial institutions, oil, energy, gas, a lot of different sectors. Again, Microsoft being one of those companies that really has an impact on just about everything we do: the work/life balance aspect.

It’s, again, a great organization. Can’t say enough great things about how well-oiled the machine is. Maybe not necessarily the same in some of the other stops that I’ve had along the way in my career, but it’s really nice to be within an organization that is so well buttoned up.

Mike: Which we’ll definitely get into some of those other stops. But a quick shout out: I couldn’t agree more. All the dealings that I’ve had with Microsoft back from when I was in IT and selling Microsoft products to today working with people like Mira Rodriguez, and Tyrone Heath on the LinkedIn B2B side, fantastic people to work with. So I’m so glad you’re here. 

Let’s get into crisis management, and I want to set the table for everybody, and I’d love for you to share how you define or describe a social media crisis. And the follow-up question is: Would you say every business crisis is a social media crisis today?

What Is a Social Media Crisis?

Chad: That’s a great question and pivot into the focus that just social media and the platforms have, especially when it comes to customer sentiment and just being a place where people can sound off and have not just a voice but feel like their voice has the potential to be amplified and heard. And take a step back when we think about how customer care and how these crisis situations were able to be handled in a vacuum before social. A lot of times, customer service was picking up the phone and doing a one-on-one conversation. So that one-on-one conversation lives within that moment. Every once in a while, you have someone creative enough to where they could record the phone call and try to blast that out on local media. But it was very, very, contained. 

I think as the industry and technology started to shift, social media became more prevalent. You had review sites, encouraging honest opinions from customers and consumers alike, that became an equalizer. And I think it took a while for brands to catch up to these new mediums. So I can literally go back to the beginning days of social. 

And crisis management wasn’t necessarily on our radar. We were just trying to feed the beast and pump out content on all these new platforms that we’re starting to open up. But I would say probably around 2010, 2012, we really started seeing how social media can be utilized, in a customer service fashion. And a lot of it just happened organically.

People go into Twitter, not noticing that there was a brand handle and just started tweeting all caps, just nothing but hate and vitriol towards a brand. We shifted over to Facebook as well. Facebook added another community element to where people could just pile on, maybe even create a private group about a brand. And brands were totally blind to what was going on, within social, and that was a segue into when I began at Hertz back in 2016. We were in spin mode. We had an aggressive marketing budget, and social had a really great sized portion of that.

But I had some fear and hesitation when I actually got into the organization. Didn’t even look under the hood a little bit, but for every post that we would put out on Facebook or Twitter, just talking about how great a convertible might be to rent in California and Florida, we would have anywhere from twenty to thirty comments talking about customer service issues or things that were getting in the way of a good customer experience.

And so I was a little hesitant to invest a lot of money into media and into our social content without having that customer service aspect shored up. So, again, that opened that door a little bit into how I started to really see social, being a great compliment to social care, customer care, and then in particular being able to manage large crisis management situations. But even being able to put out those small little fires before they become wild, raging fires. Social is a great bellwether indicator, for you to pick up on some of those issues before they boil over.

Mike: So what I’m hearing is a crisis could be as small, for lack of a better word, as an individual person complaining on a social post to as large as a wildfire, where you’ve got a literal raging PR crisis going on that is potentially hitting mainstream news.

That is a wide range of possible things that could go wrong. So for everyone listening today, we got a lot of social media managers. This is a platform specifically for folks who are managing social media for large retail brands. They’ve got a lot of locations, maybe multiple profiles.

If they don’t already have a plan in place, what’s the first thing you recommend for social media managers.

What Should Social Media Managers Do Before the Next Crisis Hits?

Chad: Really, it’s taking stock, for one, in your social media landscape.

Understanding the platforms where your brand plays and then going into it with a two pronged strategy, promote, and protect. So those are the two things as a social media manager. You can really wear that badge of honor where you are, again, creating the content that is going to promote the brand, but also utilizing social media as that shield, as that protector of the brand. So when you’re starting to think about that strategy, it’s really starting with the channel approach, and wanting to understand an all sort of aperture marketing side, just Facebook, X, and TikTok.

And you’re not having the full exposure to blogs or to any type of message boards, forums, travel sites, you name it. You want to open up that aperture to see the full universe so you catch things that might linger in. An insignificant travel blog has an ability to come into a main channel that you might manage like Facebook. But by the time it makes it there, it may be too late. Your brand may have already been at risk or at jeopardy of having a negative tarnish put on it. 

So I like to start my strategy out with the tool set that we have. And tools are very important in the customer care and the crisis management arena. Because, again, without having the right tools in place, you can be blind to where those conversations are taking place and knowing where you have to dedicate more focus, time, and attention to issues that might be popping up.

So, definitely, when it comes to that strategy, start with your channel, and then make sure that you have the right listing tools in place. That’s not just covering the channels that you’re managing on a day-to-day basis, but also some of those blind spots that you might have as well.

Mike: That makes complete sense, and that’s the very reason why we’ve added web listening and more robust social listening to Agorapulse so that our social managers can listen to that. 

In fact, everybody listening, I’m going to include in the show notes, an actual checklist that we’ve got on one of our Agorapulse blogs that you can run through to help you build out this strategy for preparing in advance of a crisis. Because once the crisis hits, that is not the time you want to be thinking about how we handle this. Just like any other thing that we might do in life, it’s so much better if we’ve thought about it. We’ve done the training or the preparation in advance. 

One of the things that you mentioned to me when we decided to do this call, is you dropped this comment about social analytics and how that applies to crisis management. I was like, “Oh, I have to ask him about this because, Chad, I have no idea how social analytics have anything to do with helping with crisis management.” What did you mean by that?

How Do Social Analytics Help With Crisis Management?

Chad: Well, there’s a couple different stories and ways we can kind of delayer that, especially in the current environment.

Let’s take a step back and understand that, you know, social is a very agnostic environment. Platforms are these pedestals. But not every customer and person on social media is the same because we look at influence.

And, again, when you have an issue that pops up, one of the things you want and, again, every issue should be addressed the same. Let’s just start with that. But, when you do have an issue from an influencer that has maybe a couple million followers, you might want to take priority solving those issues and those challenges that influencer might have. 

That’s where analytics come in. Being able to dive in, slice the information and the data that you get from your listing tools to create an internal or a priority list. And a lot of tools do this right now, being able to segment by by reach amplification for some influencers. They even identify influencers, as well, who are mentioning your brand. And, if anything moves into that negative category, this gives you a quick ability to really assess and triage, the complaints, the issues that are coming in.

If it’s something that is very topical, it’s all alarms going off at the same time. And that’s where you want to address those priority lists that you might want to assign to different people that you’re working through your response strategy with. Because if you are able to satisfy or appease one of those top influencers, that can cascade down to the larger audience as well. So, again, you might be able to save yourself some time and headache by strategically going about addressing some of those issues and concerns, relying on the data.

Another piece where that data comes into play was when I was at Hertz, and we had a big issue. We had a lot of issues, but one that started right when I began was whenever there was a mass shooting in the United States, even abroad as well, Hertz would be called out by a number of influencers and just the groundswell of people that weren’t in favor of a relationship that Hertz had with the NRA.

It was a very small discount that was offered to NRA members, travel companies, like Delta, United, Enterprise, Avis. Virtually everyone in the industry offered this discount to the NRA. And you’d have a mass shooting, you’d have a few days of boycott, PR side tells you to just put your head in the sand, and this will all blow over. It’ll go away. Usually, it did. Every once in a while, we had a little long-term effect. Maybe Chelsea Handler, Bette Midler, a couple influencers that would specifically call out Hertz for a boycott list.

I would watch and monitor our social media, analytics boards that we had. A couple of companies we were using at the time were Brandwatch. I believe we also didn’t have Crimson Hexagon, although I did have access. I was utilizing that tool through another agency. And we had a few other proprietary tools, like we had Conversocial that was connected to our social media response, tied to our traditional customer service, call center, and a few other miscellaneous tools that were in the mix. So I would basically look to see when things hit a 60% negative. “Okay. Sky is not falling yet. 80% negative. Okay. Sky could be falling.” Once we hit, like, a 90% negative, which was very rare, and it only happened after the Parkland shooting.

And that was the one that I think was a tipping point for a lot of brands, especially ours, because we had some specific shoutouts, callouts, from David Hogg and a few of the other students who were victims that day. And they astutely noted that Hertz was only about an hour and a half two hour drive from Parkland. They were organizing a physical boycott that was going to come to our facility. And that right after he was mentioning this boycott, our negative sentiment was spiking at about 98%. Never seen it at 98% before. That was a number I was able to take up to the suite and really elevate quickly, because it was a hot issue. And the fact that someone was going to organize a group to come to our headquarters a few days later, was enough for me to get the attention of some folks that could put some action into what our decision was going to be.

And then shortly after that, we were also watching what our competitors were doing. The day before, Enterprise and Avis both rescinded their discount agreement with the NRA. I was able to—again, this is all on my dashboards—take that data, send it to our senior leadership.

So now to acknowledge our two main competitors have taken this stance against our NRA. We’ve never been able to make this argument before. We’ve got data, and now we’ve got what our competitors are doing as additional support to make a decision to sever the ties with the NRA. Think the decision came in about 4:10 on a Friday that we could do it. And so we decided to do it differently than what the other brands were in the travel space that we’re just doing it in customer service responses, not necessarily putting some ownership over it. We put a stamp on it and simply made a tweet that we’re severing the ties with the NRA. And within an hour, I think we had close to a 100,000 likes on Twitter. Ended up having over 300,000 over the weekend period.

But that also dovetailed into other companies like Delta, like United, like Marriott, like Hilton. All the other travel brands over that weekend followed our lead, and it ended up being a crazy marketing windfall for the brand because we were also assessing earned media value. That tweet that we put out was shown on every major news broadcast throughout the weekend, even on the Sunday morning shows. And so even when they said Delta made their announcement, they showed the tweet that we did from Hertz. So huge impact for the brand. And even about three hours after we made that decision, we saw a major pendulum swing from ninety eight percent negative to 96% positive. And, again, it was something that we all felt good about making that decision.

But let’s just say there were some additional repercussions, because we live in a polarized society if someone’s been living under the rock over the past ten years. And for half the country that believed this was a good decision, there was another portion of the country that didn’t think that this was a good decision. So Monday morning, I had to answer those voices and also come up with a replacement, because we were losing three million dollars worth of business that the NRA membership discount brought in. So that’s where the strategy cap came on.

That’s where pulling in some other thought leaders, throughout the organization, to come up with a quick reactive plan. 

So, again, your social crisis management strategy shouldn’t just be limited to some responses and call it a day. Like, what’s the next step? How are you actually taking a more thoughtful approach to things because, again, every decision that you make impacts someone negatively or positively. And, again, we want to get it right in marketing. And, again, like Michael Jordan said it best, he sells tennis shoes to both Democrats and Republicans. We rented cars to both Democrats, Republicans. How could we make that right? Because we did start to see negative sentiment and boycotts for the Hertz brand tick up the week after from the opposite end, from the supporters of the NRA.

We had a brilliant idea and opportunity that came to partner with NASCAR and sponsor a NASCAR team. So this is where the data nerd in me really came out again because I was tracking all of the profiles and all the people who went from neutral to negative after we made the decision. It was more like entertainment value for me and some of the partners that I had after we had those boycotts, never went from Hertz again. We dropped the NRA. Literally, the day that we announced, we’re doing, William Byron, Hertz car, with the Hendrix racing team. The sixty percent negative group from the NRA—no joke—went ninety plus positive. There were thirty plus profiles that I had put to the side as never renting from Hertz again after the NRA decision, literally saying side by side quote tweets, never renting from Hertz. But as soon as we announce our NASCAR, they love Hertz. Can’t wait to rent from them again.

This is where crisis management comes into crisis marketing.

Crisis Marketing

So how can you almost pivot around the sun and create a positive momentum, a positive outcome off that negative occurrence? And, again, that was something that once we got that formula down: It hurts. We were able to do it over and over again because I’m a firm believer that if you create lightning in a bottle, they say that you can’t create it again. But I’m one that believes if you know all the elements it took to create that lightning in the bottle in the first place, then you can recreate it anytime you wish.

And so that was, with all credit to the leadership that I had at Hertz to challenge me to go under the hood, to find some additional solutions and some insights and some programs and decisions. To replace the income we lost from the NRA, we developed a partnership with the NEA (the National Educators Association). Smart move that we did, and we offered them forty percent off on their first vacation, with a special rental code that we gave to them. And so we actually pretty much doubled the revenue that we lost from the NRA by partnering with the teachers association.

Mike: Fascinating stories. I love that. I love the underlying teachings that you’re sharing where you’re talking about, first of all, you’ve got other strategy in place, know in advance how you’re going to deal with this, how you’re going to manage the crisis, how you’re going to prioritize depending on who’s saying what and what’s happening. But you also have to have those tools in place that are tracking not only mentions and activity but also sentiment. That’s a huge, huge point. I’m glad you made it and also mentioned tracking your competitors. So those of you listening, making sure that you’re at some level, paying attention to what your competitors are doing. If you’re in crisis where they’re potentially involved, ramp up that monitoring so you know what’s going on with them. 

Chad: I have to double click on that because one of the reasons why we were able to pull this off was because of our agency partner at the time. It was a small social media agency called Brickfish. And early on, I started working with the CEO from that company, Mike Malarkey, and he helped me identify that huge issue that we had. We were able to get a pilot put together to test a social media response team that our goal was to be best in class. We wanted to be best in the rental car industry, but then once we hit that mark within two months, we wanted to be best in class when it came to response time. So when this issue hit, we were prepared. If we didn’t have that infrastructure in place where we had twelve full time agencies. Company trained working at the agency doing around the clock monitoring on our social channels, we wouldn’t have been ready to take this on. Because we also had to increase that team of twelve to over thirty FTEs working around the clock because we had a deluge of issues, messages, and complaints coming in, mostly related to the decision. But guess what? We still have people renting cars. We had to still take care of people who say, “I’m stuck in San Antonio, and no one’s at the location right now. How can I get a rental car?”

So we still had to take care of the problems of the day while handling that big wildfire that we had to put out. So to your point, before we started this conversation, it’s that prep. It’s having the plan in place—not just the plan, but go ahead and start. Every kid learns how to ride a bike with the training wheels. So that’s when you can use your downtime.

If you don’t have a crisis right now, create some crisis scenarios, almost manufacture them. Put your team through a pressure test so when that moment comes, they’re ready. And then you come out of it like that trajectory around the sun and winning as a result.

Mike: Couldn’t agree more. I used to work in IT for Dana Corporation in Toledo, Ohio, and we would do these disaster recovery drills. And they weren’t every single day, but it’s more once a quarter or something like that, but they’d imagine a scenario. And in Northern Ohio, we get a lot of snow. So one of the scenarios was: What if there’s a blizzard, and there’s so much snow that the roof of the server room collapses?

Chad: Oh, wow!

Mike: And we have these systems that are just destroyed by the snow, and now you’ve got water melting in the server room and all these other ramifications of what happens in this event. And then, of course, now the next step is figuring out what do we do as an IT department? We’ve got eighty thousand employees around the world who now can’t get their ERP systems online. They can’t deliver the products. And now you’ve got a crisis that would hit social media for sure. So fantastic advice. 

Example of a Social Media Crisis Management Event

Chad, could you share another example of one of these crises that you’ve gone through and some of the other unique challenges that you might have run into?

Chad: I think, yeah, especially, it might resonate with the retail space. It hurts. And, again, timely because, the last eclipse that occurred, I think, was 2017. Internally, we called it the eclipse apocalypse, because we had an issue. And, yeah, it was like one of those “Houston, we have a problem” moments where I believe it was Austin the location.

So a lot of people were traveling to that area and region to watch the eclipse, and we overbooked. To rectify that, we had someone at our local office make calls to everyone. I think there were a 136 people who were displaced that had a rental and were told last minute within a few days of their trip that their vehicle was not going to be available.

This backlash made its way all the way to Good Morning America.

And they had an expose where they went through the process of being one of the people who didn’t have a rental available, and they recorded the call with our customer service rep. So they ran with the story that it was a bot that we were using. And I started freaking out because I’m asking around the entire organization, “Are we using bots for our customer service response and for voicemails and stuff?” And nowhere within the organization could I find anyone who is using bots.

So I’m like, “This is troubling because this is on national news that we’re using bots to tell people their rentals are not available. How impersonal is that?” Like, it goes against everything we’re doing on this new customer care revamp and wanting to add that personal touch in that element.

Well, it just so happens that the person at the location who was making the calls was autistic and had a robotic delivery with everything that he did. So every call that he made had the same inflections and the same script that he was following.

So, yeah, again, little egg on the face of ABC for getting that piece wrong. But what do we do to make it right? There’s a 136 people who are now stranded. And, again, how can we turn this negative event on social media into something positive?

So this is where, again, we had a great leadership team that fell on the sword. And we were able to transport on a car trawler a hundred and thirty six automobiles from around the country to come to Austin to fulfill those car rental orders.

The cost of the rentals in total for the one day is less than fifteen hundred bucks, but we spend over $30,000 to transport those cars and those vehicles to get to the customers.

Again, a huge win because everyone who got a car gave us positive media. We got additional local positive media that came out of it. So we were tracking that earned value that we got from that action. So, again, this is where our social listening, our customer service, our customer response, our crisis situation strategy all came into play in real time. And within forty eight hours, we were able to solve a major issue and, again, come out ahead, from, in that situation.

Mike: Love these stories because you’re illustrating a couple of truths, I think, about crisis management. One of which is when it’s an issue where the customer is being negatively impacted, you need to go above and beyond, obviously, to make it right. And I say obviously, yet we know for many brands, apparently, it’s not obvious. 

That’s what you need to do in order to make it right. That’s how you’re going to stop it from becoming a worse crisis than it is.

The second truth—and this is just me picking up some of the undertones here—is that we don’t necessarily need to respond instantly to a crisis, even though that may be our gut response. It suggests, “Get a tweet out there. Do something.” No.

You talked about how it took twenty four, forty eight hours for the overall response, which was more than just what we say. It’s what we’re going to do and how we’re going to address this and make this right. And by taking that time to come up with a solution that actually works, that also in turn contributes to the solution for the crisis itself.

Chad: You make a good point. You’re going to take some fire in that time frame before you get that right message out. And it’s not just the message. It’s the solution to your point. It’s how do you go above and beyond for the customer? The customer doesn’t care about a response. No one cares about a response. They care about the action. And, if you get that part right, your job as a social media manager is almost done for you. All you have to do is put that correspondence and that whole arc, if you will. Because there’s a story there. There’s a problem. There are people trying to work on that solution. 

And let’s just say that fails. You’ve got some great ingredients to a rich in-depth narrative. And, again, as a social media manager, you want to take those opportunities and not just let them sit on the shelf and be some good experience, but how can you take that next step and create a positive story about it and around it?

Maybe with an expose, you bring in some of the people affected. And we did do some additional surprise and delight elements, gift bags, that sort of stuff, the glasses, making sure they were all prepared.

But you’re right. I hate to say to look at crisis situations as a gift, but if you treat them the right way, they really are. Because, again, I’m not one that believes that organizations and corporations are people, but according to the government, they’re treated as one. But at the end of the day, when a company or organization or corporation humanizes itself, people relate.

And that’s something that not a lot of brands have the ability to do. But if there’s any part of your DNA, push it, champion it, challenge leadership. Because, again, if you have that data in front of you and they’re saying that from not an informed stance. You have the information. Again, data is power. And if you are passionate about that decision in that direction that your company, your brand needs to make, put the flag down. And nine times out of ten, after the crisis, after it all blows over, you’re going to be rewarded for it. My old CMO used to say the reward for good work is more work. That’s about what you’re doing, and that leaders in your organization have faith, trust, value in what you do and how you’re thinking about the company first. And you do that by thinking about the customer, because without the customer without a client, you don’t have a company. So, again, get down to the basics and who are we here for? And, again, we’re here to serve the customer. And that’s the bottom line, how you have to look at that crisis management.

And, again, if you do it right, it becomes crisis marketing, because it’s a way that you really are able to show that humanization of your brand. And a lot of companies get that wrong.

Mike: That’s such a terrific point. So, those of you listening, have that plan, have that strategy documented, work on that now. Get management buy in. This is how you’re going to play or have a playbook for a crisis when it occurs and then have the strength and the bravery to stand up to management. The CEO wants to put out a tweet with a picture of a letter he’s written addressing the crisis at that moment, and that’s not the right move. You know it. You know that’s not going to appease anybody. It’s just going to make it worse. Refer to the playbook. Refer to your data. Go with your gut instinct. Absolutely. Couldn’t agree more. Thanks for sharing that. Chad, I want to pivot a little bit and talk about social media in general.

One of the things we’d love to know is how the people we’re talking to are actually measuring the impact of social media on their business because that’s been something that a lot of people have really struggled with for years.

We go to Facebook or LinkedIn or X, and we get some metrics from those platforms. We get reach or impressions. We get some likes and engagement metrics, but that doesn’t move the needle for our businesses. 

Have You Measured the Business Impact?

Chad: That’s a great question, and do you have another hour for us to dive in properly?

I was in this position.

Anyone who has been at a corporation has probably, at some point, heard the term EBITDA. And once you hear the term EBITDA, you know all hell’s about to break loose within the next quarter or two because they’re literally looking at the price of staples that go into the stapler. And did that actually need staples as opposed to a paper clip? You get into this really crazy world of micromanaging every dollar. So when that happened, I  took this step back, and I looked at an old analogy that I got from my grandpa. “Dollar saved is a dollar earned.” So I started looking at all the different places where social media made an impact on the business.

So I started looking at SEO. I started looking at CRM. I opened up another Pandora’s box. Customer care, that was one. Loyalty, that was another one.

So when you look at everything that as an organization you’re investing your dollars in, some organizations do have a multi-touch attribution way that they model at that last click or where the revenue is coming from. A lot of organizations don’t. So this is where you can beat the social media drum. Because we see that when social media is utilized in an integrated marketing fashion, it complements and lifts just about every other marketing tactic that we do and we deploy.

So that CRM, you’ve got your emails going out. How many of them are unopened? Probably about ninety five, ninety seven percent. And when you follow that email with that integrated marketing plan where those visuals, that topic, everything that is in that email also is in a social media post that day.

So take that next step. I see that email from the brand that I like, and now this post reinforces that this discount I should use. There are ways that you can start to plug in your social content strategy to complement other areas of the business. And so if CRM email rates start to open up on those days and you’re able to point to that data, guess what? Those are dollars that you can lay some claim to. So you’re starting to then pull in some of these revenues from some other areas and some other disciplines, and that’s going to help to bolster that real argument that social media is more than just your last resort.

This is the tip of the spear when it comes to your marketing efforts. Same thing with paid media. If you are only doing paid—and I did this a lot with—when I was with Visit Florida. We had a very aggressive paid social media budget. But the organic side was just flamingos, dolphins, and sunsets. So once we started to plug what we were doing on paid with organic, we started seeing we were getting more bang for a buck on the paid side. And, actually, we found that some areas and some platforms where we could dial back paid because we were doing such a good job on the organic side that that that content was sort of starting to prop up and lift, some of the, the the impression totals and engagement numbers that we were seeing through our paid efforts.

Same thing for SEO. I’ve never met an SEO person who didn’t have social as the number one thing on their strategy.

So knowing that social is a big component to SEO, break down those silos if they exist in your organization. Find ways that you can work together because you’re going to start to drive in more SEO revenue when your organic social strategy is aligned and in tune with what they’re doing. And then you’ve got that dotted line again, SEO and paid, where you’ve got those intersections as well. 

So I would say at your organization, just shake things up. Find a bunch of partners. Find socials that put those silos together within a lot of organizations and start to get some attribution numbers. Start to really find those ways that you’re showing a monetization or return on investment in social. And it might not necessarily be in your direct data that you’re getting for what’s an impression equate to unpaid. What does this actually equate to on pay? 

There’s ways that you can go outside of that box that we’ve trapped ourselves in on social analytics to find where you’re making impacts in other marketing areas as well.

Mike: Terrific advice. Having spoken with so many social media community managers over the years, I know many of them are on an island. And if they have any reaction from the other departments, it’s their department sending the social media manager something, saying, “Tweet this. Share this. We’re doing this. Whatever. But we’re out of money. Send it on Facebook. We’re running a flash sale. Here you go. Push this in the next hour.”

Yeah. But instead, yeah, reach out, form those partnerships and relationships with the other departments, see how you can help them. If you’re using Agorapulse and you’re sharing blog posts to your social channels, all those links are going to be tracked. You’ll actually get attribution capability through that. 

Chad, this is so fantastic. I’ve got just a couple more quick questions. The first is, what are the tools in your tech stack today that we haven’t talked about?

And what are a couple of resources that you turn to for news? 

Social media continues to change every single day. LinkedIn’s coming out apparently with vertical video, which sounds really cool. Where do you find out about that kind of stuff?

Chad: I live on LinkedIn. So, that’s probably one of the primary places where I do my reading. There’s some influencers, thought leaders that I love to follow. And, again, when they have an interesting copy frame that you’ve got on LinkedIn. That’s what you’re pulling people in. And, just advice when you’re on LinkedIn, keep your copy short, tight, succinct.

You don’t have to do a diatribe in your post. Bring someone out of LinkedIn onto the channel, onto the blog, or the place where they have the ability to absorb that long form content. 

The other place that or the other tools, while I was at FleishmanHillard, I had a really cool assignment, which was creating the Death Star with all the social platforms and analytic tools that we had under the Omnicom umbrella. So I got really exposed to a lot of cool ones that I didn’t have in other places like Talkwalker. Really, really cool analytic piece that can determine the velocity of a post, and really neat proprietary elements that feed into that. 

Brandwatch is another tool that is tried and true when it comes to social listening and engagement. 

I live in Sprinklr every day, so I have to give a shout-out to Sprinklr as well. Sprinklr has really advanced throughout the years from just being Hootsuite on steroids to being a full social listening suite and offers a lot of different elements and variables to their product as well. Some of the niche ones that I’ve been able to use is TapInfluence. If you’re an SEO expert, or a SEO novice, don’t know anything about SEO, there’s a small tool called PI Datametrics. They’re out of London, and they’re just fascinating at what they can do when it comes to search data and how you can start to readily and quickly apply that search data to your content strategy. Big brands like Nike and GM use those platforms regularly.

A few other ones as well. There was one PRQ called Q that did cultural prediction. I’m always big on trying to predict future trends seen around corners. And so some of these tools that have some proprietary elements to them that are pulling in a lot of different data sources so they can know when the color maroon is going to peak. You know, those are little anecdotal tidbits I’d love to incorporate into social strategy because it all does resonate and all helps. And if you can be ahead of the curve, especially in social, it’s always going to help improve your skills and your capabilities.

Mike: Fantastic. We’ll have all those links and shout-outs in the show notes. I feel like you were calling me out there, Chad, on the no long post because I’m a bit of a writer, and so I will be long-winded in my emails and my posts.

Chad: I think the thing we can do on LinkedIn is the articles. That’s a great way for you to just have a quick little blurb in your post, and you take someone right into your LinkedIn article. Now the LinkedIn algorithm does favor those who keep people on the platform. So the more you do to keep people within the platform, the more favorable it’s going to rank your post and your content. And it’s also looking at the history. 

So, again, you keep that steady drumbeat. Anyone out there who also is just building up their own social value, LinkedIn is probably the number one platform in the business community to have that pedestal for yourself. Hone in and start to get on the radar of some brands that you’d like to work with or work for.

There are a lot of tips and tricks we could go into some additional sessions on. Anyone who wants to reach out, I’d be more than happy to just keep the chat going and answer any questions that you might have.

Mike: That’s a great segue, Chad. We’ll definitely have to invite you back just to focus on LinkedIn, but we’re out of time for today. So for people who do want to follow you, learn more about what you’re doing and how you could potentially help them, where should they go?

Chad: I’m pretty easy to find. Just Chad Israel. I’ve kept my branding consistent for about twenty years, to which my kids ask, “Why do you use your own name when we’re going into PlayStation and stuff like that?” I don’t just have it, kid. I branded myself, I guess, way back then.

Mike: Fantastic. That’s all we’ve got for today, friends. Don’t forget to find the Social Pulse Podcast: Retail Edition on Apple and leave us a review. We’d love to know what you think.  

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