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Are you prepared to handle Social Media Crisis??

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Crisis – aah… How do you react to an unwanted dangerous situation, do you stay calm and composed or you push your panic button and behave arbitrarily? Reactions may vary from person to person depending on their basic natures.

But in case of Social Media Crisis you can’t afford to follow your basic instinct, instead you have to abide by certain rules of Social Media land. Let’s talk how we can deal with social media crises.

Social Media Crisis

Jeremiah Owyang has defined Social Media Crisis as-“a crisis issue that arises in or is amplified by social media, and results in negative
mainstream media coverage, a change in business process or financial loss.”

Reasons for crisis may be many like-untrained team, lack of clear social media policy, customer’s ugly experience etc. “A report by the Altimer Group has found that 76% of 50 social media crises between July and August this year could have been diminished or avoided had the brand been prepared and had proper training, staff, and processes to respond”

Social media is a channel for web based social communication, unlike any conference or meeting anything that happens on this platform catches  everyone’s eye; therefore brands need to be overcautious in handling social media.

Preparation for handling a social media crisis:

1) Having a consolidated Social Media policy: A well planned and analyzed social media policy should be framed and enforced on
social media team. Organized guidelines are better than on spot random decisions. A social media policy cannot be rigid as law, as what works for one, might fail for other. Therefore Social Media policy should be framed on basis of experiences of SM- team with loyalists and should be open for change as per requisites.

2) Dedicated and trained team: Key to Social Media Success is right presence at right time in right place. Real heroes of Social Media success are your team- mates, so please ensure that you have a dedicated and trained personnel for Social media, rather than
freshers; after all your social image is at stake, be careful!!

3) Ongoing education and refresher sessions: Social media world is evolving each day; you can’t master it just by getting one training session. It needs continuous practice and regular refresher sessions. A great example of such system is followed by Intel they have dedicated a special budget for digital marketing and follow a Digital IQ training program for educating their employees on Social Media.


Consistency in Action:

A golden rule for “Social Media Presence” is consistency in action. Despite being bugged by Crisis, you can’t afford to remain silent; you are liable to answer your users. A similar serious mistake done by Johnson & Johnson and Toyota who instead of paying heed to their customers voice, they just recalled their products and results- a “tarnished image of brand and lost faith of loyalists”. Instead of abruptly recalling products they could  have conversed with their loyalists and answered their concerns and then made product recall. So please beware your silence can make you guilty!

Social media has given us democracy to share and grasp but it comes with responsibility of listening too. So please listen carefully whether it is praise or an abusive statement.

Criticism and appraisal are two sides of coin, they stay together. It’s not necessary things will go well always, so need is to pull up our socks and tighten our jackets and get prepared with our Crises management policy.

“Better be safe, rather than sorry”!!

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