How To Successfully Manage A Social Media Crisis

30 Oct How To Successfully Manage A Social Media Crisis

Stress concept

A social media crisis can strike at any second, and as an account manager it’s your responsibility to ensure it’s handled properly. Not all crises are created equal, and some of them are a bit easier to clean up than others. As a guiding force, and an alternative to full on panic, here are some tips you can turn to next time you’re in a crunch.

Educate Yourself On The Issue

The first step to take when faced with a social media crisis is to put on your investigator cap and dive into the discussion. Find out what spiked the issue, if anyone else is talking about it and what they’re saving. When you’re more aware of exactly what’s going on and people’s reactions, you’ll be better able to manage the crisis in a productive way and reach a diplomatic solution.

Consult Your “Crisis Plan”

Your reaction plays a huge role in how well you can manage a social media crisis. Rather than rely on yourself to stay cool, calm and collected, create a go-to plan with what you will do when different types of problems present themselves. This can include a prewritten response for disappointed customers, contact information for employees that would like to personally handle certain issues, and links to company policies and terms of service (in case you need to share any of this information with a community member). Your team should work together to create your Crisis Plan to ensure it is in alignment with your brand and is unanimously agreed upon.

Be Quick To Respond

Assuming an issue will die down could cost you. Don’t forfeit your opportunity to make a brand statement early on. “No comment” or literally no comment can be conveyed as guilt or disinterest. Be transparent. If you’ve done wrong, acknowledge it and lend your sincere apologies as well as the steps you plan to take to be better or correct the mistake. Honest engagement with your community shows your commitment to them as customers and the integrity of your brand.

Move The Conversation

If your crisis involves angry parties it is better to move the conversation elsewhere. Facebook is an easier platform to control what is seen than, say, Twitter but an even better approach is to get your community members to seize social discussion and send you an email instead. This allows the dialogue to be private, and people are often less passionate when an audience is not around. Moving the conversation to email also shows you are taking complaints seriously and action to reach a solution.

Create A Website Page Or Blog Post About The Crisis

Once your company has decided on a plan of action, it is beneficial to create an online information source that details what you are doing to rectify the crisis. When inquired in the days or weeks after the storm has calmed, you can direct users to this blog or page. Setting up this page will not only show you are taking ownership of the incident, but also eliminate a lot of unnecessary conversation that could carry on in the future.

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