27 Nov

Protecting Your Reputation during a Social Media Crisis

dealing with social media crisisLiving in the digital age, when almost every person has their own social media accounts, most companies will almost certainly encounter a social media crisis. Whether your name is mentioned alongside a high-profile incident, or your business is caught in the middle of a series of negative comments on Facebook, you need to make sure you are prepared. Social media is powerful. It can either place your business at the top of the ladder, or tarnish the reputation you’ve worked so hard to build.

Knowing what you need to do during a social media crisis will help you protect your image and maintain the reputation of your business.

Develop a Social Media Crisis Plan

An effective crisis management plan is your best defence against a problem like this. So if you haven’t developed a plan yet, it’s time that you did.

Initially, start by creating guidelines for responding to comments or posts if an issue arises. Take a look at your current stance on damaging comments. Do you delete a negative post on your social media account, or respond to it quickly, explaining your stand? In internal cases, it’s best to delete an offending post immediately, and then talk to the employee involved in private. In external situations, it would help to evaluate the content thoroughly before deleting it. Then, post an apology or positive response to the post. A public relations firm or agency in the UK can help you develop an effective crisis management plan.

Respond Immediately

Although it is essential that you take time to consider your course of action, the best way to deal with a customer complaint is to respond quickly and sincerely. It is crucial to never let negative posts or comments linger on your account. Evaluate them thoroughly, remove them from the site, and follow it up with a retraction or apology. Responding immediately just shows that you monitor your social media accounts regularly and that you value your customers’ comments and feedback. Don’t plainly apologise, though. Offer a resolution to the problem and ensure the person that you’re listening to them and working on it.

Take Issues Out of the Public Eye

Customers usually complain and post negative remarks about a business because of a problem. Whether it’s a defective item, or delayed shipment, as mentioned above, it’s important to deal with the problem immediately. If you can’t solve the issue with a simple post, it would be best to take the problem offline and out of the public eye as soon as possible. You can do this by either providing an email address or a phone number where customers can reach you, or contacting the person involved personally. Discuss the problem and develop an effective and efficient resolution.

A social media crisis can take your company down, but with an effective social media management plan, you can turn the negative situation into a positive one, and ultimately protect that all important corporate image.

Resources:

http://www.managementtoday.co.uk/
http://redmarlin.co.uk/
http://www.businesszone.co.uk/