It is remarkable how Social Media has become an important part of our lives nowadays. The Internet is a place to be in the 21st century, and Social Media are an important part of it. We can say that people run two lives today. The real life and online life, where online life tends to become a real one. It doesn’t surprise then that every serious company or brand is trying to use Social Media as a weapon in the battle for customers favor. But, what happens when it comes to a crisis on Social Media? How can you handle it? What is the best way to react? We’ll try to give you answers to these questions in the text below.
A small crisis can turn into a huge problem in a second
How many people do you know that doesn’t use Social Media in business or private life? Probably none, or maybe just a few of them. Most people today use Social Media to promote themselves, brand or company, or just to communicate with other people. Today, Social Media has become a new place to meet people.
In such an environment, the news can explode in a second. You have to keep in mind that people, like to read, comment and share bad news more than good ones. So, just one wrong comment, misunderstood joke or bad move can cost you a good reputation you have built for years. If you are not aware of that and do not take necessary actions right on the start, a small crisis can turn into a huge problem, which is hard to handle.
Social Media and online reputation synergy
If you consider all we have already said about the popularity of Social Media, you will easily realize that it is a great channel for building your online reputation. It is an excellent way to increase your brand awareness, to make positive effects on sales, to make all the benefits that online presence can bring you. Managing online reputation through Social Media is just one way of handling it. But today, we can say, maybe the most popular and complex way. Therefore, the responsibility is even bigger.
How to prevent Social Media crisis?
There are crises you can predict and prepare for, and the ones that come unexpected and leaves no room for preparation. The difference is in a cause.
In the first case, for example, the cause could be your inability to deliver product or service to your customers. If you know that situation could happen in the close future, it is crucial to let your clients or public know that information. You have to communicate with them, share information that is available. They need to feel like they are updated with all relevant information. Try to explain the situation that may happen in advance, and give them a word you will keep them posted, and you actually do that. That way you will send them a clear message you care about them, and their loyalty to your brand.
On the other hand, if you ignore that and wait to see if there will be any reaction you risk potential crisis on Social Media. The first thing angry or disappointed customer will do, is to share that on Social Media. Why? That is the fastest way to reach a large number of people, and the easiest way to create a crisis which is their goal at that moment. The power of Social Media is known to everyone today. It is also very well used, no matter for good or bad cause. You realize now how a crisis is close to you all the time.
The second case refers to non-predictable situations. That can include situations like workplace accidents, a human error like publishing some misunderstood joke, unexpected angry customer, etc. The point is that those situations are the ones where you couldn’t prepare the public for. You can only try to handle it the best possible way. But, even if you can’t predict it, you can have a plan how to react if that situation happened.
The best way to solve the crisis on Social Media
No matter how hard you try to prevent a crisis, sometimes, as we mentioned above, you will have to deal wit unpredictable situations. In that cases, it is crucial to have a good plan.
Make crisis plan
It is important, always, to be prepared. The crisis is something you can always expect, so protocol in that kind of situations is your salvation. No matter what happened and what caused the crisis, you have to appoint the person in charge to make decisions in such moments. Also, you need the whole team with specific knowledge and powers, and you have to document it in details.
What is meant by mentions? Every quotation of your name or name of your company or brand on the Internet that doesn’t include a link. People can be even more specific and use your name with @, which refers to an email address, or with hashtags (#).
The point is that you have to be with one eye on the Internet all the time, and you can use Google Alerts to help you track your mentions. That way you will get useful information immediately, so you can decide how to react.
Fast reaction as your power
When you are facing the crisis in a Social Media, a quick response is the only option. There is no such thing like:”I will do it later, let me investigate that, people will forget, etc.” You have to give people information immediately. If you are not familiar with details, please, say that. Let people know you are dealing it, and that you will keep them posted. That could be a huge help in preventing all the negative comments you could get or at least to cut them to a minimum.
Communicate with your public 24/7
Do not let the public find you sleeping. You have to be able to communicate with them all the time, especially if they are expressing some dissatisfaction with your product or service. Remember, even a massive crisis can begin with a small problem. People always appreciate when they see you try your best to inform them. Sincere communication with a client is highly important for your reputation.
Always avoid arguing
Give your clients a chance to say what they think and to explain to you why they are dissatisfied. Offer them quick, but valuable answer. Never, but never argue with a client. After the first contact and initial answer, try to redirect the communication outside of social media. You can achieve that by offering an email address or number where a client can stay in touch with you. That move has few advantages.
For a start, you managed to remove communication from Social Media. The second advantage lies in the fact that clients get the feeling they are important to you and that you are really trying to solve their problem. That way you can also find out the real cause of that situation, and do your best to predict it in the future. Remember – argue is not the solution you a looking for, it can only bring you more angry clients.
Why is important to have professionals on your side?
Today all the crisis overflow to Social Media crisis, and in that case, you need a fast and coordinated reaction. There are many things you can do by yourself. But, it is not always so easy as it seems at the beginning. When crisis escalates, you don’t have time to search for the best professionals and experts. Instead of that, most people hire the first one available. That’s not the way to success.
When crisis knocks on the door, you have to be ready. It always demands a lot of time to handle all necessary information, to communicate with your public, to calm down the situation. Besides that, it is an enormous pressure, and if you don’t have the professional support, it could be very intimidating which raises the possibility to make some mistake. Also, when it comes to mentions monitoring and preventing the crisis, professional will give you the right information at the right time. That also includes recommendations about best moves at a particular time. They can approach your problem with clear thoughts and cool head, which is crucial in the crisis.