Crisis Management on Social Media in Three Simple Steps

3 Steps to Crisis Management on Social Media


crisis managementThe last thing any company wants to worry about when it comes to emergency preparedness is social media. While to some managers this concern may seem a bit trite, too often, we see businesses scrambling to put in place a social media crisis plan after they’ve made some very public snafus.

Social customer service is one of the most public ways that your brand will interact with people online. Followers will be vocal, and prospective customers will be watching and making decisions about whether they’d like to do business with you. Whether you already have a crisis plan or are looking to put one in place for your team, here are three key things it must include:

Acknowledgement

The first step is having an awareness when there is a crisis that affects your company. Whether it’s a bad batch of product that went out or another mistake that has people angry or upset with your company, do not wait for it to spiral before addressing the issue. That’s where the next step comes in.

Assessment

Your crisis plan should contain some type of way that employees can assess the type of social media crisis that they may have on their hands. By listening, and understanding sentiment, your team can gauge where they need to start. This could be assessed by the types of people involved (i.e.- influencers) or by your company’s responsibility to keep the public informed.

Action

Stop everything (all scheduled posts, social ads, etc.) until you have a proper plan in place. The last thing you want to happen is giving off the impression that your brand’s agenda is to promote the product and increase bottom line in the midst of an emergency. This is especially important if your company has a responsibility to keep the public informed during an emergency. For instance, if you’re an airline and having delays due to weather-related emergencies, you have to be sensitive to the fact that your customers are going to be angry, upset, fearful, and confused. That said, the last thing you want to happen is for one of your scheduled posts that say “Get away from the cold with a quick trip to Costa Rica”. This is guaranteed to add fuel to the fire and is an easily avoidable mistake. Taking action in the form of being human, informative and tonally appropriate, can ensure that your brand has some influence on steering the direction and tone of those conversations even in the midst of an emergency.

Crisis planning should be a part of any social media engagement strategy. Take our CX Social Engagement Grader now to see how well your brand is doing against the competition.

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