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6 top tips for handling a social media crisis

If your business has a social media crisis, it can either leave a nasty dent in your digital footprint or if it’s turned around and dealt with accordingly, it can help you strengthen your image.

If you approach a social media crisis correctly, and if you have a process in place to deal with a crisis, you have the potential to get much closer to your customers and to your target audience as a result of dealing with something that you couldn’t prevent from happening in your business. Well, this is usually easier said than done and the truth is that it’s up to you about how you are going to turn the tables to achieve positive results rather than negative ones. Here are a couple of tips if you are experiencing a social media crisis:

1. Don’t ignore what is happening
It’s extremely important that you don’t ignore a crisis when it happens. Trust me, the chances are slim that it will disappear by ignoring it. The best way to tackle a crisis is to review everything with your eyes wide open and see where it started.

2. Never be rude online
It’s true that you can never satisfy everyone. The best way to deal with negative comments is to have an honest dialogue with people online. Never, under any circumstances, be rude. Communicate directly with your audience online and reassure them that you are assessing the problem and you are trying your best to improve the situation as speedily as possible.

If the people you are engaging with feel that you can really accommodate them, there is a chance that you can turn them into loyal customers.

3. Keep everyone involved
It’s really not a good idea to keep everyone in your business in the dark when a crisis hits. Create a crisis management team and delegate responsibilities to them so that they can help you manage a crisis in the best way possible.

4. Acknowledge and value other people’s opinions
One of the worst things you can do online when someone sends you a comment is to ignore it. If they have asked a question, even if you cannot answer it straight away, acknowledge that you have received the question and that you are looking into it.

5. Always put your best foot forward
Always be sincere when communicating online. People can see if you are not being sincere and many won’t appreciate it. It’s natural to make mistakes and people understand this. Apologise for any mistakes you have made and people will respect you.

6. Monitor the online conversation
It’s very important that you start immediately monitoring and listening to what people are saying about your business, products, and services. If you keep yourself in the dark, you are missing a huge opportunity that you can use to improve on what you are offering.

If you are experiencing a social media crisis

If your business is experiencing a social media crisis online, it really doesn’t mean that you should simply accept it and close your doors. It’s not whether a crisis happens and you are part of it, but how you react when you are in the middle of it, that is most important.

If you can deal with the situation sincerely it can positively affect your online reputation, your audience will respect you more and will most likely continue to be associated with your business.

Author | Anton Koekemoer

Anton Koekemoer
I'm your friendly neighbourhood digital marketing specialist. I specialise in helping brands connect with targeted customers by enhancing their online presence through emerging web-based communication channels. I translate business objectives into comprehensive initiatives that focus on humanising brand identity while maximising measurable business results. More
  • Good tips Anton. One piece of advise I would give is to make the attempt to address the problem offline as soon as possible. This may stop the complainant in question from “ranting” any further. You may also want to have a look at the influence that the complainant in question has on the social web. In some cases, your response may create more visibility than the initial complaint.

  • Thanks David.

    I agree 100% with you, but at some point you will have to address it online otherwise people that are involved will be in the dark.

  • Aardvark

    Don’t worry, the lawyers will screw up all these rules and keep you from doing anything.

  • Pingback: Geekbook 2.1 | An Internet and Online Media Zeitgeist « MEperspective()

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