The Importance of Crisis Management on Social Media

Posted By on April 23rd, 2020 in Social Media Marketing

In today’s competitive business landscape, there’s no denying that a strong social media presence can be an essential tool for success. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, or how popular you’ve been to this point, sometimes it just happens!

When a crisis occurs in your company, there’s always a chance that you may hear of it first through social media. Therefore, an organizational crisis tends to be circulated in a matter of minutes. As this happens across multiple channels with multiple users, organizations no longer have control over their messages. News travels tremendously quickly, and they get carried, intensified, and very often mislead by user networks.

business crisis and social meda management

 

The fact is, whether organizations choose to participate or not, consumers will talk about them online, especially when the news is negative. A more realistic approach is to be a part of the conversation and stay in control of messaging and reputation.

This goes without saying, that the time to start thinking about a crisis management planning is NOT during a crisis. Companies should always capitalize on social media channels and develop online customer relationships, as the point of social media management during a crisis is to step up the organizational reputation. Having already built valuable online connections, organizations ought to use these affiliations and draw upon goodwill during a crisis.

Develop a Communication Plan

A communication plan must be developed in advance. The plan should foresee crises that the organization may encounter, develop appropriate responses, and also outline roles and responsibilities. Key personnel should be aware of the information they can share, briefed on the organization’s communication strategy and messaging plan during a crisis. Precisely, social media managers and customer service staff should be provided with contact lists of spokespeople to whom they question for precise communication.

 

social medis crisis management and planning

Social media has effectively accelerated the speed and complexity of communication. If organizations do not react quickly, it is very much expected that numerous social media channels will convey and falsify the message. However, before responding, it is crucial to evaluate the situation and measure the online sentiment about the organization. Indeed, investigating public opinion, whether good or bad, should be a regular part of online reputation management.

Keep Your Ear To The Ground

Monitoring conversations about the organization, its competitors, and the industry is a good habit for all to follow. Especially when the conversations are related to the organization, its brands, customers, and senior management – it should all be tracked on regularly.

That being said, the tone of communication on each social media channel is different, and the messages must be adjusted to each individual channel. For that, always respond with empathy and mindfulness, do not attempt to hide negative comments as it would only fuel the fire. On the contrary, be professional, respond with facts, and most importantly, do not aggravate the situation by responding to emotion with emotion.

Once an initial statement has been published, it is necessary to issue a press statement, in which the message should acknowledge the situation. Also provide facts and details, express concern for those affected, outline the actions taken by the organization, including instant significances and next steps, as well as contact persons for further information.

Social media channels should be actively monitored so that organizational response is cohesive. All sort of communication, including marketing, ads, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram posts, etc., must be reviewed for inappropriate content. Keep in mind that automated messages are best not to be used, and it is better to review messages manually. As the investigation progresses, updates must be shared through social media posts and traditional press-releases. While also key communication channels must be leveraged, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, the main website, and all online forums.

When the crisis is over, it is imperative to hold examination sessions, to evaluate the organizational response and improve the plan for the future.

Once equipped with a proper plan, the organization will be ready to handle a crisis, no matter when or where it happens!

Engy Kamel Author
Social Media Account Manager , Bruce Clay MENA