Trouble for social marketers comes in packages of all shapes and sizes. And the holidays seem to escalate social media risk intensity. Whether it’s a poorly timed post, a typographical error or a content oversight, smart marketers are prepared for crisis. They understand that having a strategic social media plan can help prevent crisis from happening and reduce the impact when crisis does occur.
Here are 5 Tips to prevent the pain of social media crisis and ease the burden when something is amiss.
When flooded with negative social media activity it is critical that your team has an action plan to follow and that each member knows their responsibilities. Having an agile team ready to instantly react is the most effective step you can take to minimize brand damage.
Next, identify the primary decision-maker in the event of a crises and create a list of stakeholders who should be kept in the communication loop. So, think ahead about the kinds of things that could go wrong and create a situation analysis. Did a member of your staff post something inappropriate or off-color? Is there an issue with your services or product? Are you involved in a legal battle? Typically employees, shareholders, and customers will be on your list. Also include the best way to contact stakeholders quickly.
Create a template press release or statement. This saves time allowing faster response. It’s vital to respond quickly, but don’t be hasty. Ensure that you have all the facts and that your response addresses as many of these facts when you send out your press release.
Develop a clear set of response protocols for your staff. No matter how big or small your business, anyone associated with your brand needs to be aware of what they should and should not say during a crisis. Advise employees not to discuss a crisis without consent from your crisis team. Communications must be aligned. A rogue employee discussing your brand crisis can cause exponential problems.
Find Your Brand Advocates
Word of mouth is ever-powerful. Brand advocates come across as authentic, passionate and lacking an ulterior motive for supporting your brand.
Brand advocates may reduce the impact or even prevent social media nightmares because of how they often defend your brand as negative activity is emerging. Turning customers into brand advocates can be daunting, but it is an achievable goal that can really help you should a social media disaster occur.
Create an Internal Social Media Guidebook
Whether you have one person running social media or fifty, ensure everyone is aware of how they should be communicating on your business social media pages, as well as on their own personal social network channels.
While it is important for employees to bring personality to your social media it is critically important that they stay on message. We recommend employing a social media guideline checklist that addresses:
Have Security Measures in Place
PC security is one of the most obvious but often the most forgotten elements to include in your crisis communications plan. Update your computer, use separate passwords for each account, and create strong passwords.
If you have lots of people running social media, use a social media management program. This means users won’t need the password to the profile itself, but a login for the social media platform. The advantages of this: 1) the fewer people with the password, the less risk of the account being compromised 2) posts can be attributed to specific employees.
Social media doesn’t have to be a source of stress if you’re well prepared for anything that can come your way. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be able to handle anything that comes your way.
Inspired by Hannah Williams blog, ‘5 Tips to Prevent a Social Media Nightmare’