How to handle a social media “crisis”
We’ve all seen examples in the news of badly handled social media crisis, and their damage to a brand can be significant and long-lasting.
Social media has reshaped every aspect of our lives, changing how people communicate with friends and family, how people read their news and most importantly how businesses communicate with and advertise to customers. But what do businesses do when a social media “crisis” occurs?
We’ve all seen examples in the news of badly handled social media crises, and their damage to a brand can be significant and long-lasting.
So imagine if people were saying negative things about your business online and you knew nothing about it! In order to effectively handle a social media crisis, you need to monitor its development, finding out where it started and how it escalated. Use a social media monitoring tool, such as Mention or Hootsuite, so you can keep on track of any tweets and posts which mention your business.
Deal with an issue
If a customer or client has posted about a bad experience, you should address the issue on the post directly by apologising, showing empathy, seeking more information, suggesting a solution and providing a point of contact to resolve the issue. The worst thing that can be done is blocking commenters and deleting comments. This course of action almost always results in bad publicity and damage to the business’ brand and profit, with multiple users expressing their unhappiness that people are being blocked and posts deleted. This only results in a ramp up and a stream of negative vitriol flooding your social media pages.
If someone in your social media or marketing team has a sense of humour that might cut through, it is often useful to try and use it to take the edge off a crisis, but bear in mind that this should be appropriate within the context of the business and problem. The best responses to customers on social media often find themselves the subject of news stories, mostly online.
Social media is a simple concept that is very powerful, but unless businesses are prepared to do it right it can become more of a liability than an asset.