Almost everyone today speaks of social media like how it can help do wonders for your business, raise more awareness of your brand and reach out to a larger audience. But what happens if you find yourself in the opposite situation where your company and the product you own is a subject to a battery of complaints and negative feedback on various social media sites. What do you do?
But how do you know if your company is indeed in the strains of what can be defined as a social media crisis. Ask yourself these two important questions;
Is it an escalating situation where you feel that you may have already lost control?
Does the situation have the potential to create negative impact on the company's reputation or bottom line?
If the answer to these two questions is yes, then you have a problem. The next step is to collect all information, links and other essential data and inform upper management of the situation. Some companies have a prepared action plan for social media crisis situations, wherein a specially formed team is tasked with dealing with the issue.
According to PR industry experts, the initial approach is to remain calm and to focus on the areas where you still have control. After this has been established, try to find out the channels where you can reply to the string of comments, feedback and responses. Identify the consistent message that needs to be addressed and focus on creating a reply or action that seeks to strengthen and rebuild the relationship between your business and their patronage.
Once the crisis has been dealt with and all goes back to normal, companies should take the time to re-evaluate the series of events that led to the crisis. Doing so will allow businesses to learn from their mistakes and avoid making a repetition of the crisis.
It is best to be prepared to handle situations like this, which should be dealt with on the earlier stages before blowing up into a full blown PR social media crisis. Your social media crisis team should always have quick prepared responses and immediate steps to follow.