Guide for Crisis Communication On Social Media
Social networks have started a revolution in the company-user relationship and have contributed to the emergence of the increasingly frequent communication crisis. The ability to overcome such challenges has become an indispensable characteristic of every social media community manager!
When the traditional media dominated the marketing world, two-way communication took place somewhere in the shadows. Only the persistent and uncompromising managed to get in touch with key people and get a chance to share their experiences. Brands appeared in these traditional media outside the advertising context only when they provided the potential for headlines. All the satisfactions and dissatisfactions of end-users were reduced to word of mouth.
What has changed since social media came on the scene?
The main thing that has changed the brand-customer relationship is the emergence of interpersonal communication. With the growing influence of social networks, it has never been easier for an individual to ask a question or look back on the positive or negative segments. What is valuable to clients' feedback is a real challenge for social media community managers. Just as no one is the same, their comments do not require an individual approach. Generic responses can pass in rare situations, but what if, on the other hand, you have an experienced communicator who is right, and there is a possibility that it will cause a crisis that can affect your customer relationship and your business in general?
The first and unavoidable rule is to react as soon as possible.
The more time passes, the greater the chances that a tiny spark will create a flame that will be difficult to control later. So, what do we do? - inform the client! In a situation where you realize that a crisis is imminent, contact and consultation with the client are necessary. Aside from communicating with each other in most cases to come up with a solution to the problem, you can't let your client stay in the dark.
You gave the perfect answer, but the fire doesn't go out?
Ah, yes, situations like this are more often the rule than the exception. Let's say you did everything you could to make your response sound warm, professional and certainly give the impression of understanding and solving challenges.
You exhale and embark on further work trips, and then a notification of a new comment appears. You hope for a positive response, and then you realize that your interlocutor has armed himself with new arguments and isn't giving up. Now is the time for new tactics, answers, and written communication no longer work because another reasoned reply from you would turn the conversation into a discussion, and you don't want that at all.
So we're not going to ignore it, are we?
Ignoring is acceptable in certain situations, but not in this one, so it is essential to take further action. You ask now what? It is simple, ask the interlocutor for a contact number or give him a contract to call. Since you informed your client about the new situation, he had time to check the details internally, and a conversation with the interlocutor will be mutually beneficial.
Sometimes it will even be needed to create posts addressing everyone following your page if there has been a challenge with your client's products or service that affects more than one person, especially if their business has a global impact.
Finally, do not forget that social networks do not have working hours, and therefore such phenomena should not surprise you. A crisis manual is always a practical tool for the initial response, but knowing the audience and closely following events within the community will make it easier for you to overcome any sudden challenge.