Crisis is conflict that impedes a brand’s ability to do day-to-day business, shared an MDMC18 social media expert. It’s not just dealing with little online mistakes that are embarrassing to a brand, like tweeting the wrong thing at the wrong time; what is being defined as a crisis is much bigger. Although, even the smallest crisis on social media can cost a company millions! And that’s why social media crisis management is an important and relevant topic in today’s society.
Crises can either start on social media or are exacerbated on social media and start elsewhere. But one thing that we do know is that if a crisis is being talked about on social media, it is most likely spreading via other media channels as well, and spreading quickly. Seventy percent of crises are spread on Twitter and Facebook.
Unsurprisingly in this day and age, more than a quarter of crises spread on social media within only an hour. With 2.3 million social media users and 30% of users’ time online being spent on social media, this can have a huge effect on brands. That’s why it is so important to have a plan in place to deal with crises on social media before the crises starts to spread. And only 20% of companies have a plan in place to appropriately handle these types of situations! Obviously not being prepared and equipped to handle a crisis could be detrimental to a brand’s success.
There’s a lot that goes into the preparation long before a crisis is at hand that will set a brand up to successfully handle a crisis on social media.
- Try to predict the crises that might negatively affect a brand. Planning is dependent on low to high impact and less to more probable crisis situations.
- Use social forensics and free tools such as TweetBeam and TwitterFall to keep an eye on what is circulating on social media about your brand.
- Know how a crisis compares to other situations your brand has dealt with by benchmarking them.
- Have a process in place to escalate the issue to the correct person/people.
- Have a rapid activation plan in place. A crisis can happen at any time and all hands will be on deck.
- Coordinate all messaging in response to a crisis and anticipate follow up questions that might come out of public response. Keep in mind that facts don’t always win arguments, but tone and message can matter more.
Obviously brands cannot ever be completely prepared to handle a crisis, but it is important for all brands to have the proper plans in place to deal with crises if and when they arise – especially with social media playing a key part in the conflict and the resolution of crises.