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5 tips to Manage a Social Media Crisis

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5 tips to Manage a Social Media Crisis

  1. 1. 5 Tips to Manage a Social Media Crisis Photo Credit: Flickr star5112
  2. 2. What do disgruntled employees, hackers, and misguided social media managers all have in common? The ability to tarnish your company’s reputation with a single erroneous, ill- timed, or malicious status update on one of your social channels . Whether a PR crisis stems from an honest mistake or a deliberate attempt to draw negative attention to your brand, here’s what to do when a social media update draws the wrong kind of attention from your fans and followers.
  3. 3. 1. Address the situation immediately. It’s tempting to spend a lots of time consulting team members, management, and perhaps even attorneys before tackling the problem, so you don’t make it worse. However, it only takes minutes for social media missteps to go viral so don’t wait too long before acknowledging the issue. Immediately post a message letting followers know you’re looking into the issue and will have an update shortly. Follow Through Simply delete the offending message, issue a brief apology on the platform where it ran, and leave it at that. For Minor infractions For major infractions Issues may require a formal press release or more detailed media response. Photo Credit: Pixbay.com/open credits
  4. 4. 2. Apologize, don’t make excuses. Customers expect companies to own up to their mistakes, not point fingers or dodge blame. Now is not the time to talk about how your IT team didn’t set up strong passwords or that your HR department didn’t revoke account access before terminating someone’s employment. Photo Credit: Pixbay.com/geralt It doesn’t matter why your account was compromised; most followers will hold you accountable at any cost. Apologize Accept blame Let customers know you’re taking care of the issue.
  5. 5. 3. Just the facts, ma’am. When mitigating a reputation crisis it’s best to say only as much as necessary. • Leave out any frivolous information. It’s fine to share basic facts like, “Our account was hacked by someone outside the organization.” • Do not share your opinion on whether you think the criticism you’re receiving is warranted. If you’ve offended your customer base, you need to make it right or be prepared to have no customers at all. • More details aren’t always necessary. Photo Credit: Flickr.com/franko_44
  6. 6. 4. Deleted but not forgotten. Speaking of deleting messages, you can erase updates from your social media timelines but don’t assume someone hasn’t already taken a screenshot or that it’s not still lingering somewhere in a third-party application like Hootsuite waiting to be discovered by one of your followers. Remember this if you’re tempted to fudge facts when crafting damage control messages. The only thing worse than accidentally posting an offensive message is lying about it later.
  7. 7. 5. Don’t hide from critics. After suffering an embarrassing social media blunder it’s tempting to issue an apology and pretend it never happened. While you don’t want to continually revisit the unpleasantness for weeks, do take the time to answer at least some of the individual fans and followers who take you to task online. Personal and heartfelt responses go a long way toward smoothing ruffled feathers. Don’t simply cut and paste the same response to each person! Photo Credit: Pixbay.com/irohner Shortcuts make you look like inauthentic.
  8. 8. In a perfect world, social media engagement would be a flawless task where nothing ever goes wrong. People do make mistakes though, so it’s important to have a plan in place to quickly deal with a worst case scenario before it gets out of hand.

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