Social media is a beautiful thing; a far-reaching outlet full of endless possibilities for creativity and viral-ity. With the pros, however, come the cons and as important as it is to understand the benefits of social networks, it’s almost more important to prepare for the moments when they may be used against you. Take into consideration these 5 tips when tackling the potential for social media disasters.
1. Have A Plan
You can’t always anticipate when a crisis is going to unfold or what will even trigger one in the first place, but should chaos completely break loose, you can avoid unnecessary scramble with a proper communications plan. A flow chart set-up that provides guidance based on the severity of the issue at hand allows internal players to organize quickly and efficiently. Layout the plan in an easily accessible document and work through it with a point person from each department that would most likely need to be involved (i.e. PR, HR, legal, marketing, etc.). Schedule a meeting to walk through each step and gather feedback so that everyone understands the role they would play.
2. Keep Your Ear To The Ground
When you don’t listen, you’re always the last to know. There are millions of brand conversations taking place on social media everyday, and even more taking place offline, that will inevitably influence how a person chooses to talk about a brand down the road. With one tweet able to tip the tone of your reputation, it’s important to put a management system in place that will allow for consistent monitoring of discussions fans and followers are having on your social networks. Analogy of the day: Catch the fire as it ignites and you’ll have more time to gather the troops and successfully control the flames.
3. Move Quickly, Be Thoughtful
Once you’ve caught wind of a potential social media crisis, it’ll be key to act as quickly as possible without risking throwing fuel to the fire. Don’t start responding to those stirring the pot without fully understanding the situation at hand. Pinpoint the source of complaints pouring in, then narrow in on the social network surfacing the highest volume of backlash. Is the issue a direct result of something the brand did or didn’t do? Use apologetic language and take ownership of any mistakes made. Getting genuine with your approach, rather than defensive, will garner more forgiveness and likelihood of fans advocating on your behalf. Respond to everyone, cancel any unrelated previously scheduled posts, be transparent, and make it obvious that your brand actually values consumer satisfaction.
4. Become The Go-to Source
A Facebook post from an angry fan may have gotten the disaster ball rolling, but you’re team will be the ones to stop it. Turn the tables and take control of the conversations being had. Make sure you’re responding to questions and comments on all of your brand’s social channels and provide updates to help ease frustrations. Depending on the severity of the crisis at hand, it can be useful to create a central place for fans to deviate off social channels, like a temporary FAQ page.
5. Learn From Your Mistakes
Even with plans in place and a million tips at your fingertips, mistakes are bound to be made when dealing with catastrophes on social media. Take time to meet with your response team once the situation has died down, and make sure to recap where things went right and wrong. Screenshot hits and misses for future reference when it comes to crisis copy and tone, and document, document, document!
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: 5 Tips For Calming A Social Media Crisis
More Digital & Social articles from Business 2 Community:
- 8 Content Marketing Trends to Watch Out for in 2015 (Infographic)
- 8 Advanced Trends In Social And Digital Marketing (Infographic)
- 6 Ways to Find Content Ideas For Your Blog Even If You Work In a Boring Industry
- Your Customers Don’t Care About Your Clout.. err.. Klout
- Beware Of Shiny Objects: Why Email Marketing Trumps Social Media