All business owners understand the importance of crisis management. While you do want your business to be in headlines, the last thing you want are these headlines to be negative. When crisis situations strike, you need to assemble a team quickly to address the problem, come up with a resolution, and most importantly to maintain your reputation with your loyal customers. Dealing with a crisis is hard enough, but picking up the pieces when a large piece of your book-of-business decides to do business with a competitor is even more difficult.
There are a number of different crisis management techniques you should be utilizing when disaster strikes. Some of these techniques and strategies should be employed on social networking platforms. If you are not integrating your crisis management with your social networking, consider these tips to spread the word to your clients and prospects before they develop a negative opinion about your establishment.
Make Sure to Monitor What is Being Said About You
Before social media became the most popular news channel in the world, people would watch the evening news on television or read the paper to stay up-to-date. Now, as soon as a crisis happens it is being written about, blogged about, tweeted, and discussed through posts on social media platforms. Keeping a crisis hidden by having connections in journalism is no longer possible.
When crisis event happens, it is important to know what is being said about your company on social media platforms. By monitoring what is said and responding, customers know you are not ignoring the event. There are a number of tools and services you can use to monitor discussions so that you can respond and address both accurate and inaccurate claims.
Post Content that Addresses the Situation Head On
It might be very tempting to try and act as if a crisis never happened on your social media profiles. But your customers know and if you ignore the situation, they might think that your business does not take accountability for whatever happened. As you know, time is critical when you are dealing with crisis management. The quicker you make statements, release documents, and address what steps you will take to resolve the situation, the better. Make sure you have content ready in a timely manner. The longer you wait to post content and resolutions, the more hesitant people will be.
Respond to Critical Comments
You should leave your profile open and allow users to comment. You will need to expect that some of the comments are going to be negative. If you block your profile, it shows people that you have something to hide and you do not believe in two-way communications. Social media is one of the only advertising platforms that you can use that provides you with instant two-way communications. While this can be a good thing, when a crisis event happens it is not always pleasant. Be prepared to reply to each of the comments respectfully and professionally. Do not take the comments personally. Be sure to apologize, explain your social responsibility policy, and never hide information because it will get out eventually.
Online reputation management and crisis management can go hand-in-hand. You should take time to monitor what people are saying about you on a daily basis. In the wake of a crisis, you should stay actively involved on your social media platforms. Be sure to train your social media team in advance, be open with your clients, and remember that time is of the essence whenever you are trying to reduce the overall impact that a crisis will have on your business.