What Exactly is a Social Media Crisis?

We’ve all seen it. That one company’s faux pas that continues to resurface featuring an embarrassing tweet or offensive picture. So, what do you do when that happens? How do you come back from being the joke… or even worse, being portrayed as the bully?

There are a couple Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to social media crisis management.

  • Do have a standard definition for a “crisis”.
  • Do have everyone on board.  Team members need to know the plan, and everybody needs to know their part.
  • Don’t ignore it. Ignoring or simply deleting something can escalate the situation into something much more dramatic.
  • Don’t respond without the crisis team’s approval.  Everybody can learn from a famous local bakery’s meltdown.

How You Prepare?

First, identify that there is indeed a crisis. Whatever the definition of “crisis” means to your company, when it happens, identify it quickly.

Second, why did it happen? Was this a reaction from poor customer service? Was this a marketing and PR issue? Was it simply not a well-thought-out post or comment to the press?

Next, properly acknowledge it. You want to make sure everyone involved in the management plan knows what happened, why it happened, and the steps to amend it. Communication is key here. Without communication, any further actions will crumble.

It’s time to investigate. Determine the public’s perception of this blunder. Does it make you the butt of a joke? Does it make you a bully?  What are people saying about the event that makes it a “crisis?”

Take Immediate Action

So, what’s your plan? Are you going to defend yourself? Are you going to validate it and evolve from the situation? Do you embrace it? Do you publicly apologize? What is your company’s next move?

Now is the time for speed. This needs to happen very quickly. We are all aware how easily things go viral nowadays, just look at how quickly the United Airlines passenger removal saga has unfolded.  Their lack of proper management caused the crisis to escalate and go viral.  Even worse, United’s competitors are now trolling them by including the United fiasco in their marketing.

Any business in a crisis needs to determine their next action step ̶  how are you going to do it? Do you need to make a public apology or simply include a comment on your website? There are a couple options with a public apology.

You can make your public apology via social media, a blog post, or an email to customers. You can also use paid ads (social, print or on TV) to get this message across, whatever it may be. The most important part is to disseminate your statement and make it public.

Stick to the Social Media Crisis Checklist

Social Media Crisis ChecklistFollow our Social Media Crisis Checklist along with a Social Media Crisis Plan to help manage these unpredictable faux pas.

Our Social Media Crisis Checklist provides structure to help prepare you for each critical step of recovery. Being proactive in this situation will aid in resolving the blunder as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Be Prepared For Any Social Media Crisis and download our Social Media Checklist.

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