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Business Continuity Planning

The Power of LinkedIn for BC/DR

With the ever-growing amount of social media platforms, it’s inevitable that you find yourself using at least one form of social media throughout the day. As of 2017, 77% of US adults are on social media; odds are, you are using one of them. In the professional world, social media is a great way to network, build B2B partner relationships and form avenues of communication between other individuals in your industry. Here are some interesting facts about the platform that may boost your professionalism the most, LinkedIn.

As of 2018, LinkedIn has over 500 million members. Of those members, 260 million log-in monthly, and of those monthly users, 40% are daily users. That makes for a great tool to utilize in building beneficial business relationships with others in the business continuity and disaster recovery industry. In fact, amongst Fortune 500 Companies, LinkedIn is the most used social media platform.  Most users of LinkedIn are high-level decision makers who leverage the platform to accomplish a variety of business tasks. Whether its gathering news, marketing, networking, or hiring, the opportunities are endless. Ninety-one percent of executives rated LinkedIn as their number one choice for professionally relevant content. Content consumption has jumped tremendously over recent years, so it’s no longer just person-to-person interaction, it is also useful for reading and sharing business content amongst a large set of people, across many different industries, including business continuity and disaster recovery.

A tool so powerful is only beneficial if you use it properly, so put some time into creating a powerful, attention grabbing LinkedIn profile. Here are a few tips on how to spruce up your profile:

  • Be warm and welcoming: This might seem like common sense, but you want people to click follow, not unfollow.
  • Choose a Professional Photo: A clear, friendly, professional picture is important. Don’t have a photo of you with a group of friends from last week’s party.
  • Show relevant work information: List some achievements, projects, and overall professional experience that sets you apart from others or makes you more valuable.
  • Update your status: Activity goes a long way, it shows you care and that you are actively trying to further yourself professionally. Ideally, update your status once a week.
  • Build up your connections: Now that you have your profile all figured out it’s time to add some connections. Don’t go overboard, keep it relevant. Try to start with a minimum of 50-100 connections.

Social media isn’t going away any time soon, and LinkedIn is basically a must have in the professional world.  Now that I’ve thrown some facts and tasks your way, you have a good foundation to help you grow your LinkedIn profile. And may I suggest a great starting point, follow BC in the Cloud for up-to-date business continuity and disaster recovery news and insight.

 

You Say Social Media like it’s a Bad Thing

When you see a company trending on social media, do you automatically assume that it’s going to be scandalous gossip? Because I do.  But what if I told you companies could become a player in the game and change the way they appear on social media?

Social media has obliterated traditional communication with its inventiveness and convenience.  Today, it is a rarity to see someone walking around without their phone attached at their hip. This need to be in constant communication with our technologies has changed the way people access information.  “How?” you might ask.  In today’s news reporting world, long before reputable news agencies can report an event, the specifics are already circulating social media avenues in real-time thanks to our societies avid Facebookers and Tweeters.  The answers to all your questions are at your fingertips, quite literally!  You can find an answer to almost any question with a few clicks in Safari or Chrome.

Given its ever-expanding user base, social media has become a powerful tool.  It can be used to shape the publics opinion and even produce desired results from the intended audience!  While social media is often known for being a stage to spread negative comments about an organization, with the proper action plan and team involved it can be used to drive positive outcomes as well.

In our industry of strategic business continuity planning, social media has the potential to revolutionize crisis communications and the way organizations interact with the public.  Social media avenues such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn provide organizations with a platform to interact with many people in real-time and push short, but important messages, to that audience.

In the past, Crisis Communication Plans were designed to “plug the holes” during an emergency or event.  Organizations worked hard to tightly control and monitor all information that was being communicated about the event, both during and after the event was over.  However, the mere existence of social media is making that near impossible as news leaks are inevitable.

Organizations need to leverage social media and use it to their advantage to regain control of the messages that are being communicated.

So, you might ask… How can your BCP Program embrace social media and use it to its advantage?

A few areas in BCP that can be enhanced by integrating social media are:

  • Risk Management Practices— Leveraging social media tools such as Twitter and Google Alerts to detect potential political, environmental and technological incidents. These tools can help the organization get the inside scope on what clients, employees and other groups are saying about them online.
  • Exercise & Testing— Exercising and testing are all about preparing for a crisis ahead of time. They outline what could potentially happen during an event and how the organization can best prepare in advance.  This same logic applies to social media responses.  Factoring social media into your Exercises will ensure that your employees know what the message is and who should be communicating that message to the public.
  • Brand Protection— Social media can be leveraged as both an offensive and defensive approach to Brand Protection. It can benefit your program by providing a low-cost method, as most social media platforms require no cost to use, that allows you to effectively hit any market, at anytime, anywhere.  It can also be used to build brand intimacy and authenticity between the company and its consumers.

Allowing employees, the ability to post on social media also serves as an effective way to maintain employee trust as well as trust from the public.  With that being said, err on the side of caution when handing out the keys to your organizations social media kingdom.  The person you choose to run these social media outlets is representing your organization as a brand.  There is no room for error that could damage the brands reputation.

As social media changes the communication landscape, it is important that your organization get connected and harness its presence and power.  Reach out to your marketing and crisis communication teams to see how you can engage employees, clients and the public to better prepare for crisis situations.