Anything to everything has a space of its own on the social media.
Be it the picture of an egg or the political satire in form of memes with profound agendas, online they are all just VIRAL.
These days it barely matters what went funny at your office desk and who was dozing at the national conference because they all eventually end up on social media platforms.
It won’t be a mistake on my behalf to compare the online space to dry woods that catch fire and go wild in matter of few minutes. Crisis on social media is nothing less than quick spreading fire which if not timely controlled can cause severe damage.
Viral content is not always a boon because audiences online are highly diverse in culture, tradition and perspective. Not everyone will like the meme that you actually thought was funny.
Social media is an open stage and most preferred platform through which public connects with brands. It surely empowers the audience to make a direct review, contact with authorities, get their grievances heard and acted upon quickly. There is a higher risk of crisis attached with social media marketing as it is mostly dynamic.
It is always better to be prepared and planned than being at loss. Social media crisis management is all about knowing where things went wrong and preparing action plan to deal with the situation.
Here we have discussed few ways to handle social media crisis management that can help brands and businesses with their online marketing.
Useful social media crisis management tips and tricks
Recognise a Crisis
When a brand gets critics and negative feedback then it is still not a crisis but if such conversations online are frequent, persistent and maximizing then it is an alarming situation. Getting a bad review, negative comment is regular but to know the change between the normalcy you must practise social media listening.
It is important to address such issues as quick as possible through customer service channels. As marketers you must observe the pattern of critics and praise before knowing when it can turn into a potential crisis. Social media crisis management is more of understanding the audience and knowing the right time to act upon issues arising.
Design a social media crisis communication flowchart
It is important to address crisis as quick as possible because response delayed is equivalent to worsening the problem. A proper communication plan ensures that in case of a crisis the team responds efficiently rather than waiting for orders from senior managers and authorities.
Your social media crisis management must have a communication plan that includes:
- -indicators to recognise crisis and its magnitude
- -roles and responsibilities of teams in such condition
- -network setup for smooth communication between authorities in charge
- -team with up to date information
- -pre approved designs and written posts & replies
- -link to company policies
With these points a brand can secure its image in future crisis. It will provide action at the appropriate time and save severe damages.
A humble reply to a problem rising is wise sometime. Just let people know that the brand is aware of the issue and more information will be provided with time. It will induce empathy and understanding among customers who will refrain from commenting negatively.
Cancel all the scheduled posts
Social media is a highly sensitive space where brands and business with larger audience must stay careful before scheduling any post. Once a crisis occurs marketers must disable any post scheduled as that may ruin the situation more.
There are several examples where brands have uploaded posts that has no relevancy with the crisis that has occurred. Thereby, making scheduled posts a huge danger to the brand image on social media sites. A wrong post in the time of crisis can make the brand look silly and totally uninformed that can be avoided by removing all posts scheduled.
Avoid arguing online at any cost
After issuing the official statement, post, tweet or video from CEO keep conversations short while avoiding being pulled into long debates. Fix up a team that will deal with the audience properly rather than arguing and stretching discussions.
While answering to the audience’s online brands can always share a private number, mail or account to make conversations private and discuss out grievances carefully.
Protect public accounts with high security
One major pillar of social media crisis management is to ensure that not everybody knows your passwords. Centralizing social media access is a safer way to ensure that no internal breach of policy takes place. It is a fact that employees are more likely to cause a cyber-security crisis than hackers and other programmers.
Social media crisis management is a very important part of brand management and it is a must practise. A company that caters to a large number of consumers and has a following on social media platforms is at bigger risk online. Marketers must also learn from their old experience and be careful while handling problems online.
Make sure you plan your social media crisis management properly. Re-read your posts and replies online while making sure that none of your social media posts consists of insulting, abusive and vulgar content. Stay sharp with your social media listening skills as that can help you avoid crisis before it happens. Watch out for the indications and the type of conversation that takes place about your brand.