As social media essentially hands everyone a megaphone, it can be more challenging for businesses to manage their image if something goes wrong. But, just as social media makes marketing more authentic, it also enables businesses to respond to crises effectively. The trick, of course, is knowing what to do and when. Here are 4 key guidelines for using social media to manage different types of crises.
Detect the problem.
If you assess the nature of the social media feedback, you will be able to determine whether the criticism is confined to key influencers or whether actual consumers have a problem with your business. Then, you can establish what the core issues are in order to respond most appropriately. If the feedback is not valid, your response may be more modest and involve fewer internal changes; however, if valid, respond more tactically.
Show consumers you care.
Keep the conversation going. Post status updates on your Facebook page that reflect that true nature of the issue. Try to maintain a consistent, conversational tone.
Make social media work for your brand.
Organize your staff to answer social media complaints in a timely manner. They should be responding quickly and consistently as problems arise. Consider taking individuals’ problems offline using Facebook messages or email to resolve the complaints or creating a separate Facebook page focused on the issue if it affects only a small, but vocal, minority. Take the time to post a thank you note to a fan’s Facebook wall if they say something positive about your business. You can ask loyal customers for permission to repost their comments to counter negative comments on your page or elsewhere.
Make changes if necessary.
If there is validity to the problem that triggered the crisis, resolve it swiftly. Make sure you have leaders in place that can take responsibility for both the problem and the solution. Communicate to consumers that you are working on the issue, even if you have no new information. When you come up with your solution, make sure to involve your critics in your communication plan.
These 4 tips on responding to a social media crisis will help you handle any social media issues with the utmost professionalism and finesse. Things don’t always go smoothly – but they can be resolved quickly and efficiently. When your brand responds in this manner, it says a lot! And people will notice.
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