Imagine being in a room with your best friends and idols, and you have all the time in the world to kibitz, share and ask questions. Welcome to the social media cocktail hour where anything goes.
Social media enables companies to connect with customers (and potential customers) in fantastic ways—outside of the traditional selling environment. But what happens if you make a mistake in social media? Do you have a social media crisis plan in place?
If you’re a community manager or chief executive officer, map out your crisis path before you begin your social media journey. Now. Before something happens. Remember, not every crisis is truly a crisis. Most of the time, there are a million opportunities to fix the problem before it escalates.
Social media crisis plan
1. Create a decision flowchart.
O Use simple instructions for those involved: If this happens, that follows and this person is contacted, etc.
O Attach accountability and responsibility to each action so employees understand their roles.
O Align it with your traditional communications plan.
2. Assign a spokesperson.
O One voice carries one message—amplified by others, if needed.
3. Actively listen to the community—not just monitor it.
O Most customer-service issues begin with simple questions.
O Take questions with phone calls.
O Put your customers’ needs first—always.
4. Apologize—a canned apology isn’t good enough.
O Social media is just a tool, and communication during a crisis needs to be personal.
O Social media is not a press release—it must be real and honest to be effective.
O Every person who posts (positive or negative) deserves a response.
5. Conduct fire drills.
O Practice so employees can see how tactical responses align with your business goals.
O The more comfortable staff are in *what if* situations, the more comfortable they’ll be massaging the message in a real disaster.
6. Respect the clock.
O Time is of the essence in social media—24 hours is too long.
O All hands are on deck, checking in with gatekeepers and the spokesperson.
Brought to you by restonic®
Do you have a social media crisis plan? We’d love to connect with you and share ideas. Connect with us on Facebook (RestonicBeds) or Twitter (@RestonicBeds).