Whether your a big or a SMB company, a celebrity or some kind of a famous personality with a large amount external public exposure, chances are you may have to deal with some kind of social media crisis sooner or later. A crisis can occur at random (insensitive tweet), or it can occur with a product misstep or even a social media account hacked. In this digital world, speed of these harmful conversations can implode on you or your company in mere seconds.
While there is no “one size fits all” approach, the below basic social media action plan will help you quickly identify the crisis (issue) and resolve it before it goes viral and turns into disaster.
The first stage of social media crisis planning is to identify the problem or issue in real-time before it gets out of control and goes viral. There are many tools out there that can help you keep tabs and monitor the majority of social media platforms. Most of these social tracking tools depend on keywords important to you or your company. Keywords such as “Company” or “product name” “name of person” “events” “competitors” “social media accounts” etc.
A short list below:
- Social Mention. A great social real-time listening tool for your brand. It measures your influence within four key categories: passion, sentiment, strength, and reach.
- Google Alerts. Track your brand mentions across web and news sites.
- Mention.net. Track your brand across blogs, news sites and forums.
- Talkwalker. Track your brand across across mostly blogs.
- HowSociable. Measure and track what your competition is doing in Social Media.
- Sprout Social. Great tool for monitoring and measuring your brands.
- Radian6. A salesforce product. It allows you to quickly and efficiently track, monitor, and react to comments, questions, and complaints as they happen on most all social media platforms.
Here are five basic steps to include in your social media crisis plan:
1. Act quickly. Speeds kills, but speed also resolves! Explain the issue or problem FIRST and what your going to do to address it ASAP before it takes hold on Social Media. Be very transparent. You need to do this before it destroys your brand or major lawsuit.
2. Take charge. Step up and take charge of the issue and move fast (even if its at 2am).
3. Be transparent. If its bad and your company screwed up. Take ownership. Own up to the problem or issue!
4. Engage. Engage all the nay-sayers. Engage all the Social Media Trolls and critics.
5. Spread the word. Post your PR response on your website, company blog, social media pages and media releases.
Bottom line: Don’t wait until the threat to your company’s reputation becomes visible. Identify the crisis and get out in front of it before it takes hold.