As in everything, even in the case of Social Media, each match has a counterpart. The main feature of Social Media is that they have made communication between people equal: everyone can express their opinion, can praise but can also criticize, can produce content, tell the truth or falsity.
Moreover, thanks to Social Media it is much easier to be listened to and messages become viral with greater speed and immediacy.
And if this has positive implications when positive word of mouth is activated, it can become harmful when passing from word of mouth is a message with negative connotations for a brand’s reputation.
Here, these are the cases of crisis management, those that are essential to be able to recognize promptly and manage correctly.
The 6 rules to manage crises at the time of Social Media
How to deal with a Crisis Management situation? Here I suggest the 6 basic rules to not make a crisis situation unmanageable and, if possible, to turn it into an opportunity for you.
Prevention is better than cure, says a wise popular saying. And it really is. Adopting a transparent, honest and correct attitude with your users-customers is the first indispensable step in avoiding crises and safeguarding your brand reputation.
Both because it prevents criticism and because honesty becomes a powerful weapon that can be exploited in negative situations: previous honesty and transparency make it credible.
To deal with a crisis, it is essential to have the right tools, that is, those of analysis and monitoring.
To be able to manage a crisis at the time of Social Media you must have the gift of ubiquity: you must attend all communication channels, be present 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, listen, check.
You have to monitor in real-time the strategy, the conversations that are generated around the brand, the hashtags, the shares, the comments, the messages of the competitors.
What to do in case of crisis management? Having a well-defined strategic plan, of the rules to follow is the first indispensable step to take to understand how to deal with inconvenient situations.
Programming allows you not to grope in the dark and not to act blindly if a situation arises to solve, it provides you with important points of reference for deciding what, how and when to do.
You must intercept the warning signs of a possible crisis and defuse them before the bomb explodes. What if the crisis has already exploded?
The ideal would be to be able to react promptly, but keep in mind that between acting promptly and badly and taking time to reflect and then take the wisest and fairest path, the second option is always better.
Communicating with people is the fundamental principle for preventing or overcoming a crisis. Communicating with people means talking to them, asking, interacting and, if appropriate, admitting mistakes, apologizing and remedying.
Denials don’t always work and, above all, what you never have to do is delete the negative comments. Unlike those that are particularly vulgar or offensive, in which case you have the right and, in some situations, also the duty to eliminate them.
My advice, however, is to provide and make public a policy that regulates the type of comments allowed and those that could instead be banned.
In the event that the spirits of a conversation are very heated, a wise and useful strategy can be to move the communication to other channels (such as e-mail or telephone) and try to solve the problem calmly, understanding the requests and user-customer motivations.
6. Turning the crisis into an opportunity
Resolving a crisis situation effectively, perhaps responding adequately to criticism or satisfying and surprising a discontented customer, can also become an example for others, a concrete way to communicate your efficiency, your listening ability, your availability.
Here, crises, if well exploited, can also become precious opportunities. How to do?
- Listen carefully to the criticisms, understand the user’s requests and define the problem;
- Study and offer your solution, making sure that your customer is not only satisfied but also surprised by your understanding and your way of acting;
- Communicate to other customers that the breach with your customer has been recovered, tell how and encourage the customer to do the same. His word will be a precious testimony for others.
Andy is a professionally belong to the finance department and he is working with a well-known company where he supports to Get Economic License Abu Dhabi. He also writes articles on a different niche to share his experience with the world.