3 Steps to Containing a Crisis on Social Media
User-generated content is central to social media. For businesses, that means the public has the power to have conversations about your brand- with or without you. A crisis can therefore take hold and spread rapidly on social media. As such, there are a few rules to live by to help contain a social media crisis so that your organisation can de-escalate it.
Include social media in your crisis communications plan.
Communication in your social media platforms should never be an afterthought. Consider social media as part of your crisis communications plan. Include strategic messages and spokespeople who will communicate publicly in the event of a crisis. When your brand makes a statement offline, be sure to also communicate online.
Engage until the buzz dies down.
Begin to address the crisis on social media, and issue your holding statement. Then prepare to engage with the public on social media. When you first address the issue online, it is tempting to believe that your brand can withdraw into silence. This is not the case- it’s only the beginning! Your customers will now engage with your statements. It may initially appear as though the issue is gaining traction but do not back away. Instead, stay the course and engage with your audience consistently, using the same strategic messaging that has been crafted beforehand. Some customers will engage with every response; do the best you can to speak with them until you have resolved the conversation.
Personalise your engagement.
Engaging with your audience on the matter does not mean copy and paste one response to every comment! Personalise all of your responses- it doesn’t take as long as you think. Create a template of messaging to address the various concerns that are brought up on your platforms. Then, respond to each comment according to this messaging. Add a little flavour so that your interactions feel personal and meaningful to each customer. Every interaction will not necessarily be positive, but stick to your message, remain polite, and take responsibility.
Stephanie Taderera is a Content Executive at Magna Carta Reputation Management Consultants. For more information and business enquiries, contact us today.