Why bother integrating your PR and social media teams? This was the question at the center of the latest webinar in our Best Practices for Communicators in 2021 series, From ‘Likes’ to Love: Turning Social Media Engagement into Action.
Candice Beck, Senior Manager of Social & Digital Marketing at Chipotle, and Fabienne Daigle, Project Manager of Global Social Media and Content at Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, joined our very own Dino Kuckovic, Director of Community & Events at Falcon.io (which is part of the Cision family) to discuss how they recently used social channels to amplify their brands, address not-so-great news and ultimately drive a deeper connection with their audiences.
What their experiences proved was that social is the future, and communication and honesty are key.
Let’s take a deeper dive into these key lessons and how Chipotle and Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group are #WINNING at social media.
Lesson #1: Inform your own narrative.
Not only is it important to stay ahead of the conversation when the time comes for crisis comms, it helps reassure your audience and customers that you are acting responsibly and taking the next steps to ensure the well-being of its audiences and customers.
“We asked ourselves, ‘Why use social?’ said Daigle, in reference to Cirque du Soleil’s announcement that they would be pausing shows indefinitely due to the pandemic. “We felt the need to do so to ensure transparency with our audiences. We wanted to own a part of the narrative, and especially wanted to inform and reassure our fans that the company was taking the necessary steps to ensure its future.”
Folks, honesty is the best policy. When you’re a large brand, all eyes are on you.
Lesson #2: Always build off insights.
Do you recall the viral “if Miley comments” challenge?
When Miley Cyrus fans began tagging the singer on social media, challenging her to weigh in on a decision, Chipotle saw an opportunity to put their own creative spin on the trend. The company took to social and posted, “If Miley comments we'll post her go-to burrito order to our app” vowing that, if she commented on said post, Chipotle would have to then add her burrito to their app, which they in fact did.
“From there, it just took off!” said Beck. “She [Miley] was posting all about it. We ended up amplifying it, because we knew that it was a big moment and a big opportunity. So, we blasted it to our social, we put a little media behind it and ended up with 1.4 billion PR impressions.”
Clearly knowing when to build off an insight – and keeping a pulse on the conversation your audience is having on social media – is crucial to turning engagement into action. Done correctly, it will always pay off.
Lesson #3: Connect with your audience emotionally.
Every business wants that loyal customer who is passionate about their brand. During the webinar, both Beck and Daigle gave great examples of how they appealed to their audiences' emotions.
“We decided to keep our message as short as possible and use the visual that represented our brand DNA. We avoided business terms and focused on more emotional and poetic messaging,” said Daigle. Cirque du Soleil’s focus is simple: To make people feel alive, and they do that by reminding their employees to feel alive.
Chipotle not only makes their brand relatable by doing the latest TikTok challenges, but also by showcasing their employees' talents. “It’s not just about our fans; there’s a whole group of people that are working in our restaurants every day who know more about our brand than we ever could admit to,” said Beck.
“The brands that make you feel something are the ones that we should follow,” said Kuckovic, who also summed up what might be the main takeaway from the webinar (and something we should all keep in mind): “Don’t be afraid to spread the love.”
Lesson #4: PR & Social work better together, not separate.
It was clear from the webinar that when PR and social work in unison, it ensures the best possible message to your audiences across the board.
“The contribution of social media to overall company performance has actually risen sharply, up 24% since February 2020,” said Kuckovic. “Social investments will remain high at about 23% of marketing budgets throughout 2021.” It’s safe to say social is here to stay and deserves a seat at the table alongside PR.
Join us next week for our final session in our Best Practices for Communicators in 2021 series, How to Integrate Paid, Owned and Earned (Without Losing Your Mind), on March 10 at 1 p.m. CT. If you want to catch up on any of the sessions, you can watch them on demand any time.
If you’re ready to turn those ‘likes’ to love, let’s discuss how we can help with both your PR and social strategy. Chat with a Cision expert today.