How to ride a social storm
Dealing with a social media crisis
Whilst almost all of us rely on social media to express our views, feelings and opinions; with that can come the power to destroy a business’ reputation.
Whether facing a full-scale social backlash from multiple angles or dealing with one disgruntled customer, it’s vitally important to control any social media crisis as much as possible. Failure to do so can see it spiralling out of control, especially if you don’t know how to deal with it.
Here are some basic steps to keep you on top of things and hopefully help get your reputation to the other side intact.
Identify the source
Firstly you’ll want to identify where or who the potential social media crisis is coming from. Once you’ve done this, you can start to do a little digging.
Respond to the source
Secondly, you’ll want to respond to the source message or comment. In the response, you can inform any potential viewers that you intend to investigate the grievance and act accordingly. We would recommend suggesting that you will contact the source directly, to resolve the situation away from social media and ideally prevent any further negative messages/comments. Alternatively, if this is a previously identified issue that would benefit from the solution being openly available, you may prefer to include the already identified solution as part of the response.
Establish the facts
Through a combination of your business’ own information and information relayed from the source, you can seek to establish the facts. This can greatly help you in managing the situation seen by the public. It may also help determine if a particular issue is nonsensical or fictitious.
Deciding on action
Once you’ve established the facts, you can then look to make an informed plan of action. This information can be passed on privately and/or publicly to the source depending on the sensitivity of the grievance. You may also wish to set up procedures to prevent potential future occurrences.
Follow through on action plan
Now everybody knows the plan, carry it out. The last thing you would want to happen is the issue to carry on or arise again in a few weeks time.
Review the action
Once the action has been carried out, you can then return to the source to establish if they are happy with the conclusion. Hopefully, they will be and you can even ask if they would be happy to remove or update their initial message or comment. Even if they do not wish to do this, you can acknowledge that a solution was found to the issue publicly to inform anyone viewing the message or comment out-of-context.