Crisis management: the process by which an organisation deals with a disruptive and unexpected event that threatens to harm the organization, its stakeholders, or the general public, seriously interrupt business, damage reputation and/or negatively impact the bottom line.
We have recently attended several lectures and workshops on crisis management which has influenced this blog post. In a busy work environment, often the last thing on your mind is the age-old phrase “what if?” We work in a fast-paced digital environment where realistically major changes could happen at any time. For example; What if the internet crashes? What if my brand is being negatively portrayed without me knowing? What if I can’t access my emails?
It’s not often that we, as businesses, expect to have a crisis to deal with, however, when working in the constantly changing world of Social Media it is imperative that you have some plans in place to deal with situations should they arise.
Here is our step by step guide to preparing for Social Media Crisis Management:
Brainstorm with your team to highlight possible crisis that may occur in your business on social media and decide on appropriate actions to resolve each issue – a few examples may include:
- Reviews – both negative and positive
- Abusive/inappropriate language
- False accusations
- Technical issues
To be able to deal with a crisis you will first need to be aware of it so first step – implement some social media listening tools to keep an eye on your business, key words surrounding your business and any potential threat sites. We would recommend using the following tools for this:
- Google Alerts
- Facebook Search
- Twitter Search
- Instagram Search
Ensure all negative comments/reviews or technical issues are responded to quickly and professionally. Acknowledge the comment/message/post straight away, even if you don’t yet have the answer. Make the commenter aware you are looking into it and will communicate further details when you have all the facts.
- Divert the conversation from social media to a different means of communication
- Respond on the platform that the comment/complaint was made and divert them to call/email to discuss further to put a stop to the public conversation trail
A formal apology should be in writing – through social, email or letter and keep a record of this. It is important to apologise openly so that your audience is aware that you and advise are dealing with the situation head-on.
Save all correspondence with dates and responses and examples of the crisis – save in a file which can act as a guarantor in future or as examples for averting future similar crisis situations.
Every crisis will be different and there is no “one size fits all” method of dealing with it, but as long as you have a plan in which you can follow if/when one does arise you are one step ahead of many businesses out there!
For any more information on Social Media Crisis Management or advice please get in touch!