7 Steps to Simplify Social Media Crisis Management
Posted By: DSG
Social media networking, digital consumerism and peer to peer sharing has given rise and seen the fall of some of the markets most significant brands through social media crises. Bringing many of the world’s most powerful brands to their knees, social media communities have the power to authorise digital riots so damaging that some never see the rise to fall again.
Social media crisis management is a critical protocol that should be forecast, planned and prepared for well before the first social engagement is responded to. See 7 Steps to Successful Social Media Crisis Management to follow;
1. Identify different types of crises and their severity.
Define what a social media crisis means to your organisation. Document the difference between a conversational trend, a confrontational crisis and an operational or technological crisis. Each will be influenced by varying degrees of severity and impact at different rates of detraction from a brands reputation.
2. Identify a chain of command and accessible spokespeople.
As where company representatives or spokespeople would be identified and prepared to administer a public-facing role, the same should apply to digital spokespeople, accessible, available and who command authority both internally and externally.
3. Map a social crisis protocol per crises type.
Once the social media crises have been characterised, each will enlist a distinct process or protocol that will need to be followed as the crises unfolds. Differentiated protocols need to be documented and distributed throughout the organisations even where steps in the process may overlap across crises type.
4. Understand the power of now.
Once a brand has been alerted to any form of digitally trending dialogue, applying the power of now. Simply by acknowledging the exchanges taking place can sometimes be all that’s needed to douse social media flames and when it’s not, it is an effective way to buy some time.
5. Silence is deafening.
Even when an appropriate response is not yet available, recognise the digital attention to reduce the impact of detractors. “No Comment” has the power to negatively influence sentiment and can sometimes cause even more harm than the crisis itself.
6. An apology is the best policy.
When you are wrong, say you are sorry. Admitting to a mistake, oversight, product or service failure, will go a long what in initiating the self-regulation of a social media community.
7. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
Listen, hear, observe and see. Credible online reputation management (ORM) provides for a worthwhile early detection system and can be geared up or down to highlight possible threats, offering a head start in preparation of an imminent social media emergency.