The news is full of examples each day, of big businesses getting social media wrong. Social media is best at amplifying news. Whether your company does something good or bad, it can get widely shared and amplified. When some hapless company gets caught having posted something tactless, it can be hard for anyone to look away.
You need to ask yourself what might happen if a bad tweet or tasteless message were to go out on one of your social media accounts. If your business is active on social media, you should have a plan in place for what do.
Have a social media policy in place
Every company should have a thorough social media policy documented. Your policy should help your employees understand what they are allowed to post, and what they should never think of posting. When you have a policy in place, you aren’t at as much risk of getting caught in a bad social media situation.
Become aware of crises early
You should make use of social monitoring tools to become aware of negative mentions of your business on social media. You should have someone in charge of social listening. Should there be a sudden increase in the number of mentions that your company gets on social media at any point, they can pay attention, and decide to take action.
Create a crisis plan
Prompt action is key to managing a social media problem. Ideally, your response should go out within the hour. It’s important to establish a crisis plan before you actually need it. Your plan should include information on the following:
• Specify how everyone in your company will internally communicate about the occurrence.
• Define what constitutes a crisis and sets it apart from just a situation that may just involve a couple of unhappy customers.
• Create an approval system for what goes out on social media when there is a crisis.
• Put someone in charge of crisis management.
You should understand that when there is a crisis, your audience will look to you for a response. You need to be prompt responding. At the very least, you should acknowledge the problem, and let your audience know that you will respond in detail before long.
Stop all posts scheduled to go out
If you have posts scheduled to go out in advance, you should pause all of it. If there is something serious happening, it may make you look insensitive to send out posts that appear irrelevant to the occurrence.
Don’t get into arguments
Public arguments are never a good idea for any business, especially in the middle of a crisis. You don’t want to get caught responding defensively or in an argumentative way. It’s usually best to simply say that your company will respond soon, and then to take your time to put out a mature and well-thought-out response. It’s important to take the high road even if there are people baiting you on social media.
Make sure that you don’t react insensitively by blocking deleting comments. It’s also important to keep your brand’s voice and persona in mind when you respond. If your company has a carefully crafted public image you want to make sure that you do nothing to damage it in the heat of the moment.
Once the problem goes away, you should slow down and think about it. Find out how it happened, what you can do to make sure that it doesn’t happen again, what you could have done better in responding to the situation.
With more businesses on social media today than ever before, it’s only a matter of time before every company gets caught up in a crisis of some kind. It’s important to understand that you should have a plan in place, and respond quickly. The way you respond to a crisis can define your image in the mind of the public.
If you have any questions, our team would be more than happy to help. Call us today at 215-393-9787.