How to handle a crisis in social media?

crisis management plan

When you’re in the midst of one, it’s the worst time to start preparing for a social media crisis. Successful social media crisis prevention is driven by pre-crisis preparation.

All businesses should be ready to cope with a future PR crisis, as they can harm the credibility & reputation. Complaints cannot be prevented irrespective of the size or common nature of a business. Someone, somewhere at some point will not be happy with their experience with your company and will share it in the online space.

To avoid issues from blowing over, you will need a crisis management plan.

But you need to be able to recognize the crisis first.

1)    Create Alerts

You can’t handle a crisis situation if you don’t know what is happening. Use social media listening tools to monitor the conversations of your brand, the team can prevent a negative mention becoming a full-blown crisis.

2)    From a Brand Management Team

Identify key people who will serve as spokespersons and decision-makers when crisis hits. It would be wise if you create a cross-departmental unit from marketing, sales, customer service, and leadership teams.

3)    Chain of Command

Not every negative mention requires the attention of crisis response team, there should be a clear escalation process outlined. The document should include the information of crisis response team members

4)  Scripted Responses

Don’t scramble when a crisis occurs to create a response for a PR. Prepare a draft communication material you think would be required ahead of time.

5)  Practice Run

Test how fast the crisis response team can assemble and whether escalation procedures have worked or not.

crisis in social media

Steps to tackle a crisis wherever you have one

Stop & Listen

A Social Media monitoring tool will help during a time of crisis, keep yourself open on conversations, sentiment, a trending theme that will help you to navigate through crisis members of the company are aware of the situation

Investigate   

Keep everyone informed, get to bottom of the situation. Don’t react to the situation if you don’t know what exactly has happened and why.

Respond and acknowledge

Most social media users suggest that the best way for companies to respond to an issue is to acknowledge and communicate about it. Be transparent and your listeners will listen.

Business Impact

Before the reaction, understand how your decision will impact the business, revenue & brand reputation. This will help you make a decision on the messaging & positioning of your business.

Monitoring Situation

Things changes since you become aware of the situation, that’s why this step is crucial as you began the messaging and stance on the crisis

Use Social Media monitoring to understand the pulse of your target audience.

Messaging & Positioning

Once you have full clarity, you can decide how your brand can respond to crisis directly

Response Channels

It’s a best practice to respond to a crisis on a platform on which it began first. Always confirm from whom the response will come from

 

Word Out

The more the delay, the lesser you have control on the situation, which is why it’s essential to respond on a real-time basis

Monitor

Understand how your responses are received. Did it solve the issue? Or has the sentiment changed?

 

Dealing with CrisisDealing with Crisis

Bear in mind when building a team that everybody should be mindful about how to cope with the crisis. The aim is to build a healthy relationship with your customers so that they can trust your brand.

In addition to your audience, you should be aware of influencers and activists. Your content shouldn’t offend anyone so make sure that you check what you post and be sensitive to others.

Be proactive, make sure that everyone in the team will be on the same page, and take note of each crisis scenario. Work together and develop process to ensure that everything runs smoothly. You can set rules, which may include tone, readymade scripts, on how you interact with clients. Whether it’s answering in the comment box or contacting them, you will also need to discuss which platform you will use to respond.

Be ready by following these tips to mitigate future crises. You’ll be able to transform negative mentions into growth and positioning opportunities with the right strategies in place!

With an efficient response strategy, we have put forward the key tips on how to cope with a social media crisis.