Q: In times of a crisis, what’s the worst thing you can do on social media?
We all make mistakes from time to time and while some of these problems will have a greater impact on your enterprise and your clients than others, it is how you handle them (or are seen how to handle them) that can make all the difference between being seen as a reputable business or a charlatan.
In the event of a crisis, the worst thing you can do is to go quiet on social media.
By not acknowledging a problem and maintaining a conversation with your clients, prospects and everyone else who enjoys a bit of drama, you create a vacuum which can be filled with rumor, innuendo, and gossip.
The simple act of reassuring your public, will not only help you maintain positive relationships and protect your reputation, but it will also go some way to humanizing your business. People are more likely to forgive you if you present a human face and don’t hide behind a corporate logo.
Remember, a carefully managed (and fully resolved) crisis can turn into an opportunity. Treat people right when the cards are stacked against you and you create the opportunity to win friends and supporters. Treat people badly, and they will not only abandon you in their droves, but they will also tell their friends about their experience.
6 Crisis Management Tips on Social Media
- Keep Your Followers Updated: If a problem is going to take some time to resolve, keep your social media followers informed via multiple posts. Let them know that you are not trying to bury a problem and are actively seeking to resolve any issues.
- Engage in Conversations: Reassure individuals by engaging them in conversation. When your issues are resolved, drop them a personal line, letting them know everything is back to normal and thank them for their patience.
- Don’t Make Promises: Nothing will kill your business quicker than promises you cannot keep.
- Address the Media: Take extra care to keep the media informed of your progress. It is much better they speak to you directly than report on rumours and innuendo. A sympathetic journalist can help you manage the fallout from a potentially damaging event.
- Monitor the Social Web: While you might be maintaining your reputation on Facebook and Twitter, flames might be burning across a range of other social media platforms, blogs and forums. Having the right technology in place to monitor to entire social media landscape will help you keep control of the conversation.
- Don’t Throw Stones: Don’t throw stones at competitors when they are struggling. It’s much better to focus on your strengths than their weaknesses.