In the past few years, social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube have caught the attention of brands, small business & governments around the world. All of them consider social media platforms the ideal place to market products, services, news for free, plus keep their customers engaged to their updates, but did anyone planned for the bad scenarios that can happen “social media crisis“, such as online mass attack because of dissatisfaction, rumors, or boycott campaigns for any reason, etc…?
So, how to handle social media crisis based on a ground experience?
What is a “Social Media Crisis“: Simply it’s a mass attack from people online, spreading negative/sarcastic conversations around your brand name. The reason could be something you’ve done in a way online/offline, lack of awareness, or just rumors. In most cases, if you wouldn’t have been able to change this perception in the right time, it will remain with you forever and turns your online life into hell.
Hence, In all scenarios you need to have a crisis management skills and plan to handle the crisis and protect your brand image. Sometimes they are preventable and avoidable, while other times they are completely out of control. Yet once a crisis comes to surface, you have to move into crisis management mode.
19 Essential steps to help you determine & manage a social media crisis:
- Through your daily monitoring, catch all hot topics/news around your name
- Set a severity line “number of conversations” if crossed, you need to raise the flag and turn into the crisis management mode
- Determine the reasons, number of conversations, sentiment, influencers, top conversations, and verbatim from different sides
- Admit that there’s an issue
- Share this admission on your social channels
- Update your social channels regularly, even if you do not have a solution yet “We’re working on the problem”
- Have a dedicated team to listen around the clock for new issues that may rise. Empower them to respond if needed
- Listen to how people are reacting to the initial crisis and base your response on that
- Answer questions and explain the issue. Spread awareness and go beyond “We’re sorry”
- Transparency — There’s no such thing as being honest
- Listen to how people are reacting to your responses, and update your further responses on that
- Listen to the entire web like blogs, YouTube videos about you, etc… Social media isn’t Facebook or twitter only
- Create an open stream. Don’t block Facebook posts or make your Twitter handle private
- Reach out individually to influences. Explain the situation so that they can blog your response better than you
- Speak in a human terms (not a corporate terms)
- Tag people on Facebook, mention people on Twitter — Respond directly
- Make sure you are responding to people individually, as many as you can, to truly show you care
- Measure the progress on the social media mentions, engagement, etc.. with social media listening & monitoring tools
- Once the issue is resolved, take a look back and write a summarized report on the experience
Hope you find these steps useful, and please share your thoughts and questions with us.