Crisis can occur anytime and very quickly as a result of a defective product, poor communication promotion, or bad word from a high-level person in the company.
10 ways to handle a social media crisis
Here is a 10-step guide to getting ready to put out an oncoming fire:
Before the event
1. Build a team
Although each staff member is important, they may not always be part of the crisis management team.
Gather a group of responsible shareholders each with their own role.
You need the right mix of executive staff (to implement decisions), management (to coordinate), and creativity (to create the right message). In some cases, a lawyer can also help.
When building your team, answer the following questions:
Assigning tasks and keeping the team on track –
- Who has the whole strategy?
- Who is responsible for identifying and monitoring potential hazards?
- Who informs management and/or key shareholders?
- Who manages social media and who answers the questions?
- Who handles incoming messages through other channels?
- Who is the spokesperson before the media?
Clarify these characters now when you have time to think about them and plan for them.
Next, it’s time to think about the type of crisis you are facing.
2. Define the reason for the crisis
You need to decide what kind of events to launch for the implementation of your crisis management plan.
All bad news or negative headlines should not push you into crisis management mode.
For this, you need a working definition of suffering.
The social media crisis has three characteristics:
Communication Inequality: When you know more than the audience what is going on.
Change from the norm: Daily criticism of your products is no crisis. But when your products start to explode randomly (right Samsung?), It can be a curse.
What is happening is a serious risk to your business: in order to be in any problem, it must really have a negative impact.
With your new team, set benchmarks and find real examples of what can be considered a crisis.
An added benefit is that you can identify potential vulnerabilities that you would not otherwise think of.
Since every business is different, it is important to create a definition that works for you.
Once that is done, you can start thinking about the main steps to take in the program.
3. Identify your key message
Your success can be defined by how you respond publicly in times of crisis.
You may have a good plan and a smart team, but if the message is wrong, you are out of luck.
You can not plan your specific response yet, because you do not know what a crisis or key message or problem is. Instead, set your core values as a business and your core value proposition to customers.
Regardless of your response to the crisis, these values should be at the heart of your concerns.
Why is the key message important?
Things move faster in times of crisis. Despite your best intentions, you may not be able to keep track of everything that every representative or social media manager says and posts.
What you can guarantee is that they will transmit very important information i.e. the key message over the common ground.
If you remind customers why they came to see you, you have a better chance of keeping them.
4. Create a communication guideline
Once you understand the main message, you need to decide how to communicate it.
This means creating guidelines to help anyone who writes a social media post know what to expect from them.
To prepare for a crisis, do the following:
- Determine communication rules with key stakeholders and leaders.
- Set specific guidelines for the networks you use for social media communication (since you have different content and format observations).
- Decide on the process of communicating updates through your website and other online
- business channels that are not covered by social media.
- Create guidelines for employees who are not part of the Crisis Communications team, advising them on how to respond to inquiries.
- Come up with some basic templates to make sure you are better prepared.
The first should be a brief general description of the company position.
You also need sample answers to the obvious questions you know you are going to get.
This is the best opportunity for you to set the tone that you use as a business.
5. Monitor activity and changes on the social media platform
Get a monitoring tool that will help you understand what is being said about you and where.
You need a tool that provides real-time updates and allows you to analyze large amounts of data to generate conclusions.
You should try to anticipate the onset of a crisis that will allow you to respond quickly. Do not prioritize media, pressure groups, or your competitors …
You need to be clear on three things:
- What tool(s) do you use to monitor brand crisis?
- Who is responsible for the management of the tool?
- What is the ongoing crisis monitoring process?
Solve these questions before any problems arise and you will have a much easier time when you face them.
During an ongoing crisis
6. Control the situation
Stop scheduled posts
As the panic spreads around you, it is easy to forget that you have scheduled posts on various platforms you have used.
You can not accidentally post “Happy Valentine’s Day” when your product causes serious injury or death to anyone.
This is a very serious example, but it illustrates the idea.
Identify the problem openly
You can not hide for long, especially on social media.
Your best bet is to make it clear that you know the problem exists and are working to resolve it. You may still have some heartburn inflammatory reactions, but it will buy you anytime.
Let your team know
You have not built a crisis management team without anything. Make sure the team is contacted quickly and sent to work.
If you respond fast enough, you can reduce the damage.
Post detailed feedback on the most convenient platform
You send very small personal responses on social media.
But you also need a place of authority where journalists and bloggers can find your article.
Posting this answer will also save you time.
If people want quick answers, you have the space to send them when you are working on more important things.
Once the dust has settled, it is time to find out what went wrong.
After the social media crisis
7. Monitor brand impact
This is where your monitoring tool comes in handy again.
You should have data that shows what a typical work week looks like compared to your “crisis week”. You will quickly know how bad things have become.
From a social media perspective, pay attention to issues such as lack of followers, specific complaints, and the level of negative sentiment surrounding your brand.
You can also see where your feedback is most effective.
You may have been scrolling through Twitter for countless hours and replying to people, yet a post on Facebook has reached more people and is widely shared.
This type of information can help you understand how badly your reputation has been affected and how you can better plan for the future.
The main questions related to this part of your plan are:
What are your key performance indicators (KPIs) for successful crisis management? How do you measure the negative interactions that arise?
How do you measure impact on overall brand sentiment?
How do you measure overall brand impact over time?
Make sure you have any tracking tool you choose to do all this and include it in your plan.
Try crowdfire to handle your social media crisis.
8. Think about the answer
Once you feel like you’ve come out of the woods, it is important to review your reaction.
Hopefully, you have a good plan and everyone knows what to expect from them.
As part of your plan, take the time to reassemble after the event and discuss how it happened. Here are some important questions to address:
- What are the strong points of your brand crisis plan?
- Where is the current strategy useless or less effective?
- Are there any policies or templates that need to be modified?
- Do you want to create new systems or new guidelines?
Discuss the different experiences of your various departments during the crisis.
Is everyone ready to provide feedback and what other resources were helpful?
9. Prepare for the Long Term
Unfortunately, negative news and complaints can last more than a week or two.
You need to decide what to do with your answer.
It may not be best to act as if everything is in order. Instead, you can be proactive and provide updates and solutions to help customers in difficult times.
Big questions to ask here:
How do you conduct or engage in long-term conversations about this event?
Do you provide continuous long-term updates?
Again, your tracking tool is invaluable in this regard.
Not only do you know if things go bad (again) quickly, you can show that feelings improve over time and gain positive feedback to share with your community…
10. Update your crisis management plan
The last step is to revisit the first nine steps.
This may be the first time you’ve tested your Crisis Management Plan, so you need to figure out if it works.
Hopefully, you do not need to use your crisis management plan for a while, so it’s time to make some changes.
Examine each part of your plan and make any necessary changes. Make the necessary improvements to make your Crisis Management Plan as good as possible.