10 Steps to handle Social Media crisis

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In life, and in business, reputation is everything.

That said, reputation is very fragile and it only takes one mistake to cause irreparable damage to your company’s image. This is especially true in the digital world where radical transparency and high customer expectations reign supreme. Ignoring strong public digital voices isn’t an option any more. Companies have to learn to not only communicate effectively in the social media age, but to truly listen to the social chatter and respond in the way that align with both brand and customer expectations.

Here are 10 steps will help you to handle your crisis:

1:) Define the scope of  your crisis:

There are many different levels of crisis. There’s a Level 1 crisis, where a customer of your company  complains on Facebook about your product or service, the customer was served and the server’s Faint  response.

Level 2, When you make new action or policy against customer benefits of what they pay for, and ignore their voice on social platforms which make a huge brand attack and you still in your place without actions.

Ask yourself which level you are? Is it local, national or global? While the steps remain the same, your execution and implementation of action may vary depending on the severity of the issue.

2:) Set the right expectations:

If you are a small business or have limited bandwidth to respond to customer inquiries in real-time, then set the right expectations up front on the timing within which people should expect your response. 24, 48, 72 hours… Be specific and make that expectation visible to ensure it is seen. But always stick to it.

3:) Establish a unified response:

Social media attacks can feel personal. It is your brand reputation on the line, after all. Don’t take the attack personal or assume a defensive stance. Social media crisis management must always take the high road.
Have a dedicated social media crisis management team in place.
This way, the response remains organized, strategic and streamlined.

4:) Do Not Lose Your Cool or being scared – Ever

There may be times when you disagree with your customers. But ever Don’t ignore or being rude or attacking them in social platforms, it is absolutely unacceptable. Provide the best information you can and do your best to satisfy every inquiry. If nothing helps and a customer insists being  un-cooperative, just clear your situation and move on.
And don’t take everything personally. The customer isn’t angry with you, (s)he problem with the product or a brand as a whole. Don’t take these interactions personally. Just do your best to help them out and move on.

5:) Build a Pressure Relief Valve:

This may be self-evident, but you want people to vent a place you can control.

Whether it’s your Facebook page, blog, forum, or comments section on your Crisis FAQ microsite, There are four benefits to this approach:

  • It allows you to keep more of the conversations about the crisis in a single place, making them easier to track.
  • It’s an early warning detection system for new dimensions of the crisis.
  • It gives your customers an official place to come to your defense.

6:) what your customer wants from you back?

These are things your customers want during a crisis:

  • Feeling like I’m hearing.
  • Feeling like my opinion matters.
  • Feeling like someone hears me and will do something.
  • Feeling like you are a valuable part of our success so your feedback is important

7:) Document everything:

Keep good records of your in-house activity around this time

(Your social media accounts will keep track of the rest) so you can go back and review later to tweak your system.

8:) Establish a media response policy:

This part is relatively simple. Stick to the facts. Don’t stonewall. Keep your statements limited to the problem at hand, and implement a media monitoring plan so you don’t miss a repeat wave of backlash elsewhere.

9:) Hire Experienced Community Managers:

There are still some organizations that treat social media communities like an afterthought and leave it to the trainee to post an occasional tweet. Your social media is every bit a part of your brand image and reputation – so hire professionals!
A community manager should be experienced, know your brand in and out, understand your brand’s voice and personality, and, most importantly,

10:) Review of the post-crisis:

Once the storm is over, your social media management team should sit down and review everything to see what went well, what didn’t and how things should be handled differently next time. Ask what changes need to be made in the company to prevent a repeat of the mistake, poor customer service, product malfunction, or miscellaneous event that led to the incident in the Future.

At the end don’t forget the most important thing:

“ Your customers are your ambassadors, take care of them  “

Abdelrahman Sleem
Abdelrahman Sleem

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