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Should your company or organization invest in a Social Media Crisis Plan? Yes. There is definitely a risk when you get your business involved with social media marketing, but creating a Social Media Marketing Plan with a crisis plan will help your business navigate social media.
Truth is, most people think that if a social media crisis were to present itself, you’ll be able to wing it and sail through it nice and smooth. Uh, yeah, bad idea. The big challenge is that social media crises are different. Most crises happen in real-time and can be extremely stressful and overwhelming when you aren’t prepared.
We all know social media plays an important role in the way businesses communicates with the public. So what happens if your business is in a social media crisis and no one on your staff is trained to handle such a predicament? Bad PR instantly spreads like rapid fire on the web.
Here is a list of key factors you should know and include in your Social Media Crisis Plan:
Select ONE person to manage the crisis from beginning to end. Having multiple voices who may or may not know what is going on from the beginning may cause your social following to think the management staff is incapable of dealing with customer satisfaction. Once the route of the problem has been determined, make sure that upper management is keeping the entire staff in the loop. Every member of your team should know who is responsible for addressing the situation publicly and who and where they’re suppose to send inquiring individuals.
Address the situation right away. Ignoring negative comments or feedback shows poor customer service. People expect customer service in person and online.
NEVER delete a previous posts. When people notice you’ve deleted a negative post, they become more angry and tend to share their unhappiness with your business.
Mobile devices are often the easiest way to access social media during a crisis — be sure to add how to best utilize them in your social media crisis plan.
So how do you know you are about to hit a social media crisis? You’ve detected a negative situation and can answer yes to the follow questions:
- Is it an escalating situation where you feel you may, or have already, lost control?
- Can it potentially have a negative impact on the company’s reputation or bottom line?
- Is the number of fans and followers dropping significantly?