How To Be Prepared In Handling Social Media Crisis

One of the scariest things that could be happening to a person or a brand on social media is a crisis. Small stuff can be a potential threat to your brand’s image or even worse, the brand’s hard earned reputation.  Take it from us, we know how fast things spread in social media, especially when it’s related to big brands or well-known public figures. And we all understand how bad it can be for brands if the internet disapproves of it. It can even reduce the profits on some brands, and of course you wouldn’t want it to happen, would you?

So, what should you actually do to prepare for potential crisis or even handle the crisis at hand? Here are some helpful tips you could try.

Identify potential crisis

First thing first, identify the potential crisis. According to Hootsuite, there are certain keywords that you should be monitoring in social media: your company name, product name, competitor’s name, customer service inquiries, influencers (that you work together with), the CEO of your brand, your media spokesperson, and any keywords related to your industry.

Of course a lot of people within your company should be active on social media at once, this is for the best. Nowadays, platforms like hootsuite, and even Sonar can help you monitor your brand on social. From monitoring the important keywords mentioned above, potential threats, influential figures connected to your brand, event those that you are considering to represent your brand online, to avoid any potential scandals, and of course even detect for online haters. Yup, welcome to the ugly side of social media!

Having a social intelligence tool with a wide range of coverage on the social scope and a local sentiment analyzing feature can help you be on the look out for potential crisis and identify the problem at hand, because social media monitoring is great way to detect a problem, but it is even better for prevention, monitoring what’s happening closely around your brand, tracking the issues going around, and with Sonar’s social intelligence platform, you can also easily monitor the sentiments of conversations and posts surrounding your brands or selected keywords. This feature can tell you how people feel when they talk about you and anything relating to your brand, may that be your service and product or even the influencers representing your brand online.


Be prepared, create a management plan

After you know what to identify, move on to the management plan. You don’t have to be panicked whenever one negative comment pops up once in a week or even a month, but you have to be worried if the negative comment keeps on popping up every day and if it is posted or supported by an influential figure on social media. Think of the numbers, if that influential user spreads that one negative comment it can be seen on the timeline of maybe their 1k or more followers. That’s what we call a social disaster, multiplied. The more popular you and/or your brand are, the easier you and/or your brand can be  exposed to negative comments, which can build up to something more serious than a mere hate comment from one user. Issues spread fast on social media, trust us on this one. If a heart warming or funny video and comical memes can spread and become viral instantly, so can negative rumors and unresolved issues. Prioritize to see what kinds of inquiries or negative comment needs to be resolved quickly before it receives more attention that could end in backlash.

While constructing your online and offline management plan, it’s best to identify possible inquiries and comments with both positive and negative undertones to it to help your customer service team decipher and quickly match a relevant response or action towards it, when such comments are posted to your social media page or even the ones not mentioned to your account, but that can easily be found it through the selected keywords you’ve chosen to monitor first hand. See, social management tools are indeed handy to have.


Handle With Care! ASAP!

When problem or even a crisis is amidst, don’t panic. Handle with care and as soon as possible. Once you know how the problem started and erupted, respond quickly, answer inquiries that need to be answered, match the comments and inquiries with a relevant response, prioritize on who to reply to first, apologize when needed. A Crisis is only as frightening as your response to it especially on social media. As long as you have a good response constructed by you and your crisis management team, refer to your crisis management plan and reply in a timely manner with a personal approach to your social audience, everything should turn out fine.


Look in the mirror

After you’re able to avoid or handle the crisis, look in the mirror. Is this crisis simply because of a little mistake or is it really a big problem? Will it cause another outrage in the future? What should you do if this happens again because people never want to hear the same solution twice, or thrice even.

Handling social media is not an easy task, but you have to understand how to manage the crowd when a problem arises. Whatever happens on the internet can be an international problem in a blink of an eye. Having a team to handle your social media, especially if you are on a big scale brand and having more than one social media account, is a better option than have to stress it yourself.

Sarah is a social media content writer for Sonar Platform, currently majoring in Public Relations at the London School of Public Relations, Jakarta

About Sarah Putri 130 Articles
Sarah is a social media content writer for Sonar Platform, currently majoring in Public Relations at the London School of Public Relations, Jakarta

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