4 Valentine’s Day campaigns that captured our hearts on social media

4 Valentine’s Day campaigns that captured our hearts on social media

Roses are red, violets are blue… when it comes to Valentine’s Day marketing, we’ve all seen those standard hearts-and-flowers posts shared by brands cashing-in on romance.

But a few organisations take a different approach when it comes to Valentine’s Day social media campaigns.

They’re steering away from the traditional celebration of amour and doing things a little differently.

And we ❤️ it.

We’ve pulled together some stand-out Valentine’s Day campaigns to help you create inspired content this year. Here are our favourites:

1. The Climate Coalition

The Climate Coalition are sharing the love, but not for romantic couples.

The charity that represents over 140 UK organisations is spreading green hearts for the eighth year running, as they campaign for rapid, meaningful action in the fight against climate change.

They’re encouraging people to get involved by sending green hearts to MPs, or by making, baking or crafting green hearts to share with the hashtag #ShowTheLove.

It’s a clever twist on the Valentine’s Day theme that taps into what the public really cares about in 2022.

2. San Antonio Zoo

San Antonio Zoo takes Valentine’s Day to the polar opposite of corny slush. Instead of getting loved-up, you can celebrate Valentine’s Day by watching your ex get eaten by animals.

Well, ok… they name a cockroach, rat or cabbage after your former squeeze, but that’s close enough, right?

The annual fundraiser’s in its third year, and is a light-hearted, sharable campaign bringing in vital funds to help secure a future for wildlife.

Got a former partner, friend or boss you’d like to see devoured by a voracious hippo, giant lizard or hungry bird? Get involved using #CryMeACockroach

3. Blue Cross

Here’s one that’ll give you the warm fuzzies: in 2021 animal welfare charity Blue Cross celebrated the love of pets. They asked followers to share a poem about their furbaby using the hashtag #YoursFurever in a campaign headed-up by animal-loving celebs.

Check out their feed to see Bill Bailey, Anton du Beke and others reading heartfelt odes to their furry friends. It’s a heart-warming awareness campaign to help the organisation continue caring for sick, injured and abandoned animals.

4. 38 Degrees

Another goodie from 2021 was by campaign group 38 Degrees, who used social to lobby for better pay and conditions for NHS staff.

The Valentine’s Day campaign captured the public mood of appreciation for healthcare workers during the pandemic, and showed that even without romance, there’s nothing like personal stories to tug at the heartstrings on social.

What can we say? We ❤️ Valentine’s Day, and we ❤️ organisations who are doing something out of the ordinary on social. And what better way to raise awareness or funds for vital causes than by stopping the scroll and getting eyes on your campaign?

There are so many novel ways to grab attention on and around 14 Feb

Here are some other ideas for how different sectors could approach Valentine’s Day on social:

  • We can all get a boost from appreciating the everyday things around us. Universities could get great engagement by asking students to share why they love their subject, city or campus. We’ll be watching out for inspiration from @uniofgreenwich and others in HE.
  • Are you and your date getting on like a house on fire? With candle-lit dinners a-plenty, fire services like @kentfirerescue could come to the rescue with some handy safety tips, to make sure the only fires burning are the passionate kind.
  • Meeting for the first time? There’s a great opportunity here for the police to give advice on online dating safety, and raising awareness about consent. And with cybercrime on the up, people looking for love can be particularly vulnerable to online fraudsters. We’re hoping for some hard-hitting messages from forces around the country, including our favourites @nottspolice and @wiltshirepolice.

Seen a post that’s taken your breath away, or tickled your fancy?

Share your favourite Valentine’s Day social media campaigns @SoCrowd using #ValentinesDay2022.

Lots of love, SoCrowd

From Hero to Villain and Back Again

From Hero to Villain and Back Again

All organisations want to emerge from a crisis with their reputation at least intact and unaffected. But in some cases, there is a chance to appear to be the hero of the moment, stepping in to make things better and ease the pain. Putting yourself into the role of hero brings its own risks.

This was the focus of a webinar I gave looking at how heroes can become the villains and what to do when this impacts on your recovery. Thank you to SoCrowd for inviting me to discuss a subject that is often overlooked. For many businesses becoming the hero of the moment can be an exciting position to be in.

All the tough questions about what has happened have been banished for the moment. Everyone is talking positively about employees and what they have done. The organisation is riding high, and its reputation is growing despite the crisis that has emerged. This is a short-term response and these moments while exhilarating are short lived and burn out as quickly as they appeared. What you are often left with is the dawning realisation that things were not as magnificent as they appeared.

At this moment, the heroes can become the villains.

Responding to a crisis is not about right and wrong, good, and bad, black, and white. There will be things that went well and areas where improvements can be made. Learning, developing and above all looking to change as appropriate are essential within the response. Recovery and change go hand in hand, and both need to be in place to positively move forward after a crisis.

The recovery phase needs careful thought and planning. The crisis communication plan needs to become a recovery communication plan that takes account of what happened, what needs to happen and how the organisation is going to move forward. Using data, insight, feedback and debrief information is vital to plan a successful step into recovery and beyond. It is a time to be honest, to be positive about the next steps, and to explain the good and bad. For communicators this is about using messages like threads that will weave together to create a tapestry of understanding.

So, what next? Plan and prepare so you are ready for both crisis and recovery, and make sure the right systems and processes are in place to help you. Remember reputation matters but this comes from focusing on the people involved in the crisis and being honest about what has worked and where improvements can be made.

Amanda Coleman, Crisis Communications Consultant and former Head of Corporate Communications for Greater Manchester Police


Watch our webinar: How To Recover Or Secure Your Reputation

Join Amanda Coleman, Crisis Communications Consultant and former Head of Corporate Communications for Greater Manchester Police, as she shared how to rebuild your reputation after a crisis and the five steps to recovery for when you’re looking ahead to what’s next.

5 ways local governments can use social media to enhance their environmental reputation

5 ways local governments can use social media to enhance their environmental reputation

The COP26 conference generated headlines as world leaders discussed big issues on the climate crisis. But it’s not just the international community that can make a difference. If you’re in local government, you’re on the frontline of helping the public take environmental responsibility – think recycling, for a start – but how else can you get involved in the conversation? 

Let’s look at some of the ways your council can push green behaviours and use social media to enhance your environmental reputation. 

1: Education, education, education 

Climate change is a massive subject, and sometimes people don’t know where to start when it comes to changing habits and making a difference. 

This is where local authorities come in – you’re far more accessible than world leaders, and some would say more relatable, too. Councils can play a key role in creating positive social media content that shows residents how to help in the climate crisis.  

Social’s ideal for sharing memorable, doable tips. We’ve seen our local government clients get fantastic responses, with environmental posts earning loads of likes, comments and shares. 

Local government green content inspiration: educating locals 

  • Share environmental issues relating to government services, like what residents can recycle at the kerbside and how to reduce waste going into landfill. 
  • Give hints and tips to help households reduce their carbon footprint – think reminders to turn off lights around the home. Stats on energy-saving make tips relevant and actionable. 

2: Going for green: councils build their environmental rep on social 

It’s important for organisations to show their values and that includes green credentials. So promote sustainability as part of your core local government brand to shows taxpayers you’re acting responsibly and making things better. 

Local government green content inspiration: sharing environmental credentials 

  • Show you’re making a difference within government operations. Have you gone paperless? Let’s see before and after posts sharing how much paper the council offices order now vs a year ago. 

3: Branch out with environmental content 

Get involved in wider environmental discussions to show you care about issues further than your doorstep.  

Local government green content inspiration: make global local 

  • Join the debate when it’s all happening in Glasgow, don’t forget to use #COP26, #OneStepGreener, #TogetherForOurPlanet, #ClimateAction, #NetZero 
  • Get involved with national and international environmental awareness days: download our handy Hashtag Calendar to stay in the loop. 

4: A weather eye on climate change campaigns 

So you’re talking about climate, but are you hitting the right note with followers? Use social media management reporting tools (like ours) to track engagement and see which posts get the biggest responses.  

When you know what your audience likes to hear about, it’s a breeze to plan future campaigns. 

5: Know which way the wind’s blowing 

Go one step further, too. Make sure you’re scanning the horizon for the green topics trending on Twitter and across the internet. Use a social listening and media monitoring tool to listen out for the latest climate change news. 

Don’t forget… 

It’s easy for the climate crisis to take a back seat against day-to-day news stories, so local governments can play a crucial role in highlighting issues that will affect residents, now and in the future. 

Showing you’re acting for the environment backs up your green credentials and builds your reputation on social. Grab a copy of our free guide, New Opportunities For Social Media In Local Government, for more on engaging with what matters. 

6 Common Misconceptions Of Social Media

6 Common Misconceptions Of Social Media

“It’s not serious”  

“It’s just for marketing to worry about”  

“It doesn’t really matter” 

You name it, we’ve heard it. The world’s full of misconceptions about social media, and it’s time to bust those myths wide open. 

So here goes: the six social media misconceptions we hear the most: 

1: It’s a waste of money 

There’s no denying that doing social properly means investing a chunk of cash. But there’s a clear ROI for most companies doing it well, too. 

Moving your customer service to social media makes it more accessible to customers and easier to monitor – if you have the right tech in place.  

Then there’s the chance to talk in a more personalised way to your target audience, and show your values and brand personality regularly through your content. Something marketers could only dream of before social arrived.  

The bottom line? If your business makes the most of social media with the right tools, it’s very likely to be money well spent.  

2: It’ll damage your reputation 

When your brand’s on social, it’s true that more people see the bad stuff as well as the good. But that also means you can show how you deal with those problems, in public. When you turn a complaint into a positive outcome on a public forum, people everywhere can see that you tackled a difficult situation head-on and gave great service. That’ll improve your reputation, not damage it.  

And remember, without social media you’ll have no reputation at all, and that’s a lot worse. 

3: There’s a security risk 

You might be worried about keeping track of all those login details and who can access your social accounts. And what about hackers getting hold of passwords. 

Password control and security aren’t subjects to be taken lightly. But with the right management tech in place (like ours), fewer individuals need account logins, and you can track and control who has access. We’re ISO accredited for security, and run regular penetration tests to keep our defences tight against hackers. In fact, using the right software gives you a social media environment that’s far more secure than when your team log into individual platforms on their own. Find out more about security in our Guide to Social Media Security. 

4: I’ll lose control of my messaging 

If your business doesn’t have an official social media presence, you can bet your bottom dollar that an initiative taking employee will set up their own. Maybe that’s a retail branch creating its own Facebook page, or a local bobby keeping residents informed through Twitter. 

These keen team-players usually have the best of intentions; they want to engage with the people they serve and they know social’s the best place to do it. But good intentions don’t always equal good social media skills or strategy. 

So head office needs to take the lead. Failing to engage with social at a company-wide, strategic level means that someone else controls your brand image – and that could mean silly memes and cat videos. Take control of social and project the message YOU want to put out. 

5: It’s just for marketing 

Yes, social media’s an important promo and comms tool. But that’s not the only thing it’s good for. It’s also a key weapon in your customer service armoury.  

Social media is the place to show your values and how you do business, so it should be front and centre of your customer service ops. It’s a great arena in which to deal with queries and complaints, because you’re actively showing you care about your customers; you’re taking action to get their problems nipped in the bud.  

6: Our customers aren’t on social media 

Sorry but they are. There are now 206 million users on Twitter, 2.89 billion on Facebook, 1.386 billion on Instagram and 660 million on LinkedIn. And your customers are most definitely among them. So you need to be there, too. 

We’ve helped our clients take strategic control of their social media to grow it into a vital and valuable part of their business. Check out our customer stories to find out how. 

How social media can help transport operators keep their customer service running smoothly

How social media can help transport operators keep their customer service running smoothly

With the summer holidays over, and three quarters of UK adults now double jabbed, September is seeing a mass return of workers to the office. The daily commute is back, bringing a sharp rise in passenger numbers for transport operators.  

With increased social media traffic – largely consisting of complaints and queries – smart providers are looking to social media to deliver the best customer service experience for their customers.

Harnessing social media to keep customer service on track 

With transport customer service teams often relying on scripted responses to familiar comments and questions, forward-thinking operators will be looking to stand out by getting creative on social media.  

But first, they need to make sure the way they’re using social media is as efficient as possible.  

Using social media management software is a proven way of helping providers streamline their customer service.  

With the right software in place, operators can dramatically reduce response times and cut workload by preventing duplication of effort. When staff can see which queries are being handled by which colleague, in real time, it speeds up the entire process.  

And with well-managed social media accounts, operators can more easily capitalise on specialist expertise in different teams, too – directing enquiries to dedicated departments to provide a better customer experience and at the same time while operatinge efficiently. 

Then – as this efficiency grows – there are opportunities to invest in advanced training for customer service staff, bringing their brand personality into their responses.  

The human touch is essential for building good relationships with passengers. And if an operator can turn a complaint into a positive experience – or even better, a post that goes viral for all the right reasons – good customer service also has the power to influence an operator’s reputation

Communications every day, and in a disaster 

Transport operators are, ultimately, becoming more sophisticated in the way they manage the crossover between different departments on social media.  

The Marketing department might be responsible for Facebook and Customer Services for Facebook Messenger. But from the customer’s viewpoint, they’re simply talking to one brand.  

Social media management software has a crucial role to play in making this a seamless exercise.  

Let’s say, for example, flooding causes timetable disruption, or a major incident such as derailment occurs – the ability to streamline responses cohesively between Comms, Customer Services and Crisis Management is essential for keeping passengers informed and happy.  

Bringing humanity and understanding to customer service responses can make a huge difference to public perception

Optimising content management 

Finally, when sensitive issues occur, it’s vital to have a clear audit trail of the team members who’ve handled each part of a customer conversation.  

With exactly this situation in mind, Crowd ControlHQ has developed a new Content Management feature, which not only identifies responses that could cause reputational damage and routes them for approval but also ensures that the highest priority items are elevated to the top of the listThis flags up trigger phrases so that managers are automatically required to give approval before responses go live – ensuring transport operators take the best possible care of their passengers and reputation doesn’t suffer

In summary… 

For transport operators looking to gain ground after a difficult 18 months, engagement with passengers through social media needs to be of a high quality. Operators can gain a lot of goodwill and positive engagement by using a social media platform that keeps their customer service running like clockwork.  

Find out more about best practices for social media customer services with our handy Guide to Managing Customer Services on Social Media.