Sorry to break it down, but social media meltdowns and controversies aren’t just reserved for the biggest companies anymore. 

The reality is all businesses (small, medium, and large) need a social media crisis communication plan. 

“When you’re constantly bombarded with @mentions, messages, and updates, it’s easy to make mistakes that spiral out of control,” says the SMM expert of Digital Googly, a social media marketing agency in New Jersey.

Hence, creating a plan for when the unexpected happens on social media is essential because your followers expect to hear from you. 

And addressing a crisis well helps your business recover faster.

This post will break down what constitutes social media crisis communication and tips to address the issue in the best way possible.

Social Media Crises

A crisis is any social media activity that may jeopardize your brand’s reputation or ability to conduct business.

A crisis can happen regardless of how careful your brand is. Everything is not under and cannot be kept under your control.

According to the social media expert of one of the best social media marketing companies in New Jersey, here are some things that can trigger a crisis – 

Comments that are insensitive or out of touch

The most common (and avoidable) type of crisis occurs when someone says something offensive or insensitive. 

Your brand has the most control over this aspect so make sure that you always think about the reactions that your social media messages and posts will trigger.

Customer complaints and product failures

Suppose a product you’re releasing fails to meet expectations or generates negative press. In that case, it’s only natural that you’ll be the one who bears the brunt of the blame. 

Employee misbehavior and errors

Each of your employees reflects your brand ethics and personality, says the digital marketing head of Digital Googly, a digital marketing company in New Jersey.

So, it only takes one employee’s misbehavior to trigger a bad reaction about your brand and, in some cases, a crisis. 

Outages and broken links on the site

Although there is debate about what kind of outage constitutes a “crisis,” they can quickly escalate into more significant issues if you aren’t paying attention.

Suppose your website goes down while you’re in the middle of a product launch. Perhaps you’re promoting an enticing offer to your customers, but your links are broken.

If that’s the case, expect an avalanche of @mentions and complaints. 

Crises in the real world, global events, and tragedies

Brands must be aware of current events and respond tastefully and sensitively. 

If you fail to respond appropriately to real-world crises and address the issue in your social media posts, you will surely be on the receiving end of the angry rants of your followers. 

How to Address a Social Media Crisis? 

Now that you know about the common crises let’s talk about how to address them.

According to the SMM expert of our social media marketing agency in New Jersey, here are some things that you need to keep in mind when dealing with a social media crisis –

React swiftly

Social media crisis management includes reacting as quickly as possible. The sooner you can respond to a situation and put an end to it, the better. 

Whether this means deleting a post or issuing an apology depends on the situation. 

In either case, it all starts with keeping a close eye on your notifications and @mentions to avoid a negative feedback loop.

Organize your workflow

A social media crisis can cause an overabundance of messages and mentions. In such a case, your team must have the resources required to deal with the influx.

If your team’s resources are limited, automate as much as possible. Chatbots can assist you in managing a large volume of inbound private messages.

Chatbots aren’t meant to replace human interaction but can help with common questions and problems. Thus, leaving your team more time to focus on more nuanced and complex customer issues.

Assess and Apologize (if need be)

When dealing with a social media crisis, it’s only natural to want to get things back to “normal” as soon as possible.

On the other hand, an apology is one aspect of a crisis that should not be rushed.

In fact, in a situation where your customers have been truly harmed (emotionally or physically,) a half-hearted apology can cause more harm than good, says a digital marketing expert of our digital marketing agency in New Jersey.

It’s debatable what constitutes a “good” public apology, but accepting responsibility is a step in the right direction.

Reflect and Report

As the crisis draws to a close, it’s critical to reflect on and evaluate your experience. Consider the following questions: 

• What went well in your crisis response?

• What was the most challenging thing to overcome?

• What can be done to be better prepared for future crises?

Determine how the crisis impacted your brand’s reputation and overall business health using metrics like sentiment, task resolution, and inbound message volume. 

Share the findings with stakeholders to help them make better decisions based on social data in the future.

Social Media Crisis Management Doesn’t Have to be A Nightmare

Do you get stressed managing a social media crisis? It does not have to be a nightmare.  

If you want to reduce the possibility of crisis, it is best to invest in a social media marketing agency in New Jersey with years of experience and sensitivity to managing social media. 

Equip your business with the right social media experts, tools, and a crisis action plan, and operate with peace of mind.