Managing a Crisis on Social Media
During Christmas, with all the Christmas purchases, promotions and sales, it is easy to sometimes forget to pay attention to the what the customer is saying on social media, which can cause a major communication crisis for your company.
Social media is the first place a user goes to complain. In this sense, Facebook and Twitter play a critical role: it’s up to you whether they become your worst nightmare or your best friend.
When you start to see negative comments about your company, or you see something starting to trend, it is critical to manage the situation correctly, which means you have to put yourself in the user’s shoes, talk to them, and make sure they know you are concerned about their problem.
Crises occur when we least expect them, but fast and direct communication will be a point in our favor. One of the advantages of taking action on social media is that you don’t need an intermediary to reply for you, so we know that our message will be received without being altered.
Remember, it is very important that all the messages that are sent out from your company, whether on social media or through other channels, all convey the same message. This ensures that your communications are consistent. And keep your social media profiles current, talk about the latest news regarding the development of the crisis or about your company.
Taking Action Before the Crisis Occurs
The first thing you must have is effective monitoring. This will alert you to any negative coments and you can identify what is causing the users to feel this way. This can be extremely useful when launching a new product or campaign.
When confronting the problem, it is essential to narrow it down, gather the facts and identify sources. We need to know where the crisis originated, who are its most polemic followers, and how we can stop their complaints.
Once we have narrowed down the problem, and identified who the users are who started the crisis, then it becomes essential to reply to them with personalized messages.
Resolving the Crisis
Put together a plan of attack. For this, you will need to propose solutions as well as compensation for the people affected. Define your message of apology and how you are going to publicize the compensation procedure.
If the crisis came about because of an internal mistake, the best thing to do is to recognize and accept the problem. Transparency is something which users value. If you have to apologize, do it and take responsibility for the mistake.
In the event that legal action becomes necessary, if you don’t have the expertise internally then seek out expert advice before issuing any reply, and give very serious thought to your reply so it does not take on an aggressive tone.
After the Crisis Is Over
After the storm has passed, don’t think the problem is over. It is possible that some of the complaints are still active or there may be residual complaints coming in which need to be dealt with in the same way. That is to say, accept the mistake, apologize, and offer a solution.
You need to study in detail what caused the crisis to occur and you should closely follow the effectiveness of the measures which you adopted.
Don’t forget to continue creating your digital reputation online, continue to interact with your users, creating a dialogue and encouraging them to interact with your brand.
If the communication crisis extends beyond social media, read this advice in order to learn how to manage it.