Responding to a Social Media Crisis: What You Need to Know

Today most consumers expect businesses to be active on social media. Be it a large corporation or a small mom-and-pop shop, chances are they have at least one social media profile and their brand names can be found on consumer review sites like Yelp.

And while this additional online presence may serve as a good way to attract new customers, it can also act as a superfast highway for spreading negative information about your business. Dealing with this kind of PR crises requires a different approach and an understanding of how different types of social media disseminate information.

Lets say someone posted a very negative comment about your company on Twitter or Facebook. It may be your first instinct to confront the aggressor immediately. This, however, would not be a wise strategy. A direct response in this case is likely to attract even more attention to the negative post, and it would definitely not change the opinion of the critic. What it will do is keep the online argument going, making the negative thread appear higher in search results for everyone to see. This is not what you want to do if your goal is to deescalate the situation.

On the other hand, certain social media crises will require you to react immediately. Having everyone in your organization on the same page on social media crises policies and procedures would save your company from having to make hasty decisions that could potentially exacerbate the problem.


Does your company have a social media crisis plan in place? Does everyone in your organization know what to do, should a rouge message or a viral hashtag put your brand in hot water? If not, it may be time to start planning and building a crisis management plan that could one day save your company’s reputation.

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