It has been said that “if a customer has a positive experience with a company, they’ll tell 3 people. But if they have a negative experience, they’ll tell 10”. There’s no doubt that negative feedback can spread like wildfire. That’s why it is essential you have a digital crisis management strategy prepared in case social damage control is needed.
Here are 5 ways to get started.
1) Monitor At All Times
Be sure to monitor your brand 24/7. In the previous section, we talked about how to monitor your brand using free social monitoring tools. Take advantage of them. You need to know what people are saying about your brand in order to react.
2) Respond Immediately
Communication is key. If you choose to ignore what customers are saying about you, they will start to question your company. Wherever there is a lack of response or an information void, they will often fill those gaps with their own thoughts and opinions, which could potentially hurt your brand. You can’t just ignore the social chatter. Respond to issues quickly, even if your answer is “We’re looking into it”.
3) Keep Your Messaging Consistent
One negative conversation could potentially lead to other discussions around similar issues. Therefore, as you respond to the negative feedback, it is vital that your messaging is consistent every time. The last thing you want to do is dispute your credibility by sending mixed messages.
4) Educate Your Employees
As mentioned earlier, your employees must understand that company loyalty extends to all forms of communication, both inside and outside the workplace. Therefore, you must ensure that they understand your corporate positioning on the issues that arise. If your positioning changes, inform your employees prior to informing the public.
5) Establish a Corporate-wide “Digital Crisis Strategy”
If your company has a PR firm managing your brand, then tap into their expertise for advice. Otherwise, here are some tips:
• Appoint a “social damage control team” – Select a few trusted employees who would be willing to work round the clock (if necessary) to manage any social media issues.
• Listen to your audience’s response to your response – This will help you strategize your next action step. Your audience will make it clear if more explanation is needed.
• Update frequently – Social damage control is more than just saying “We’re looking into it”. Keep your audience updated on the matter until it is resolved.
• Reach out to your brand ambassadors – If necessary, it might be a good idea to ask a few of your loyal customers to respond to an issue. This often offers more credibility than just giving a response from your company. However, be sure their messages are truly authentic and that they too are consistent with your company’s messaging.
Our workshops will expand on these issues, to help your company get started with social media, Emarkable has created this Social Media Strategy Workshop that contains best practices, checklists, templates, tools and resources book a consultation.