There comes a time in every organization when crisis knocks. Either a discontent costumer, someone who doesn’t like you or your brand, a piece of news that paints you in a less favorable light, or any other reason that may snap you from your happy posting and send you in a stressful frenzy. What to do then? These are some of my thoughts about it, and ways you can minimize the damage. Remember, as long as you’re present online, you’re open to “attacks”. That comes with the territory.
1. Prevention is always better
This goes almost without saying, but prevention is your friend. If you can avoid a crisis, of course you will. Take some time to ponder your decisions and how they may affect your users or costumers. Think about the way you make announcements and how you communicate in the different channels.
2. Have a set of rules thought up beforehand
It’s always better to be prepared. Have, to some extent, some rules in place to handle these situations. If the rules are set, you will better know what to do, and will reduce the time to react. It’s enough trouble when something unexpected happens.
3. Act fast
Many times, a fast response clarifying the problem may be the best way to end a crisis. That’s when the rules are helpful. Instead of going up the corporate chain of never-ending approvals, you’ll know what to do, and you’ll be able to respond faster.
4. Be honest and engage
Acknowledge the situation, provide as much information as you can at the moment, then come back with a full response if needed.
5. Stay calm – but do something
Don’t get stuck in analysis paralysis. Take a deep breath, figure out what to do, talk to whoever you need to talk to, then act.
6. Learn from it
This is also common sense. You should figure out what went wrong, put up rules to avoid it, and make note of the lessons you gathered from the incident. This way, hopefully it won’t happen again. And, if it does, you’ll be better prepared to handle it.
Have you had to deal with a difficult situation in your social media presence? Share in the comments and let’s get the conversation going.
(Photo by Hans Gustafsson)