What Can You Do to Deal with a Social Media Crisis?

06.07.20 01:47 PM By Stuart Forrester

In today’s competitive market, businesses need to ensure excellent customer experience to build a loyal customer base. Customer experience is a broad term that entails how your customers interact with your brand, including customer interactions on social media. 

The power of social media is not a secret. Everyone knows it is a potent and useful platform that can help brands reach new levels of success. However, social media is not all sunshine and rainbows. When you are interacting with a massive number of audiences, a lot can go wrong in the blink of an eye. 

A single distasteful tweet or an offensive comment can wreak havoc and cause your business to face tremendous losses. One wrong move on social media and your brand image can get tarnished within minutes – that is if you fail to handle the situation smartly. 

How Do You Deal With a Social Media Crisis Effectively?

The best way to deal with a social media crisis is to prepare ahead of time. It is even better if you handle the situation before it turns into a full-blown crisis. Take a look at what marketing strategy agencies suggest on how to manage a social media crisis. 

Use a Social Media Listening Tool
thefc - social media listening
Social media listening tools can warn you of an impending crisis, giving you an opportunity to make smart and timely decisions to shut down a problem in the early stage. These tools can help you stay aware of the conversations that take place on social media about your brand, giving you a chance to investigate any unexpected surge in your brand mentions online. 

Remember, the negative-publicity-is-still-publicity approach is not for social media. Therefore, make sure to monitor social sentiments around your brand. You can use social media listening tools, like socialMention*Brandwatch and ZeroFOX, for this purpose. However, consulting a social media agency to keep track of your brand’s social sentiment is always a better choice. 
Educate your Team about your Social Media Policies
thefc - Social Media Policy

This will minimize the chance of stirring up a crisis in the first place. If you don’t have a social media policy in place, prepare one ASAP. These policies usually cover subjects like copyrights, confidentiality, privacy, and brand voice guidelines. Educate your team about it to avoid mistakes on social media.  

Take Swift Actions
thefc - Social media crisis - take swift action
Time is of the essence in such situations, and the team shouldn’t have to wait around for a manager to take action. Everyone on your team must already know their role and responsibilities in times of a social media crisis. Here are a few things that your mitigation plans must cover to minimize damage to brand recognition in case of a social media crisis. 

  • Guidelines to identify a problem.
  • Guidelines on how to mainstream internal communication.
  • Guidelines on how to reach upper management instantly.
  • A post-approval plan, ensuring every post is checked and verified multiple times before posting on social media.
Address the Problem
Once a social media crisis is identified, stop all irrelevant activities, and focus on the issue at hand. Your viewers want to hear from you. Let your audience know what you are doing regarding the issue even if you are still in the preliminary investigation stage. It is okay to engage with your audience – you must answer their queries and address their concerns. 

Keep in mind that most people tend to express their opinions, love, and hatred very strongly on social media, so be prepared to receive loads of negative comments and messages. In such cases, engage your audience but refrain from arguing or going in lengthy discussions on social media. A better approach is to offer a private channel, like a private message or email, to discuss issues in detail. 

The Bottom Line

Dealing with a social media crisis is not always easy. Therefore, to avoid and mitigate a social media crisis, it is best to rely on professionals who can ensure a foolproof social media marketing strategy. 

If you are searching for a marketing strategy agency or a social media agency, contact us today. 

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