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A Must-Have Guide for Online Crisis Management

by | Mar 8, 2024 | 0 comments

As of January 2024, there were 5.35 billion internet users worldwide, which amounted to 66.2 percent of the global population. Of this total, 5.04 billion, or 62.3 percent of the world’s population, were social media usersData Courtesy Statista

Social media platforms have emerged as the main communication channels for customers and other stakeholders to engage with brands.  Due to the very nature and reach, social media brings forth many advantages to the brands; it can propel a non-existent brand to a household name in no time, but then there is a flipside too.

Now, The Flipside

A single customer complaint, a misconceived ad campaign, employee misconduct, an ill-timed social media post could become a reputational crisis with unprecedented consequences.

Social Media Crisis-The Zombie in The Room.

Happens on social media, people share it far and wide, the mainstream media picks up the story.

Here, we will walk the whole 9 yards in understanding the different types of crises, how to handle them, how to put a crisis-management plan in place, and a lot more.

What Could Lead to Social Media Crisis?

  • Unresolved customer complaints or issues.
  • Public/private statements or acts by the brand or stakeholders that could be perceived negatively by the public.
  • Compromise of sensitive customer data or security breaches.
  • Fake news or rumors.
  • Employee misbehavior on social media.
  • Product safety or quality issues.

How to Handle a Social Media Crisis?

  • Stay calm, take a step back, evaluate the severity of the crisis before planning a response.
  • If the situation warrants, tender a sincere apology, and acknowledge any mistakes made by you or your brand.
  • Be honest and transparent in your communications.
  • Provide regular updates and address concerns promptly.
  • Actively listen and show empathy to customer concerns or public grievances.
  • Demonstrate your commitment to resolving the issue.
  • Implement measures to rectify the situation and prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.
  • Keep a watch on social media platforms for any negative mentions and respond to them appropriately in a timely manner.

How to Handle Brand Social Media Activities & Campaigns During Crisis Situations

  • Pause all scheduled social media posts, paid ads, and marketing emails.
  • Assess planned blogging and campaign schedule for appropriateness. Check all content for any likelihood to being perceived as insensitive, offensive, or rude.
  • Cancel any product update or new releases.
  • Create plan for employee communication. Share you plan of action to internal stakeholders.
  • Use your best influencers and brand advocates to put your point across.

Silence is not an option, neither is “no comment”

Social Media Crisis-The Zombie in The Room

What are the Steps to Be Taken at Different Stages of Crisis?

  • Before The Crisis: Set up proactive monitoring systems. Train the team in crisis communication. Create prepared statements and messaging templates. Define who, how, and what. Build healthy and interactive relationship with key partners.
  • During the Crisis: Respond appropriately in a timely manner. Gauge the sentiment via social media. Pay attention to feedback.  Have a consistent and congruent brand messaging across online platforms.
  • Post-Crisis: Evaluate overall sentiment and response. Analyze data for key takeaways and lessons learnt. Evaluate team members and response strategies.  Determine best practices for future situations.

The Crisis Plan:

A robust social media crisis management plan should have the following:

  • A dedicated crisis management team with a good mix of key people from different departments and hierarchies based on risk level and severity of the crisis.
  • Protocols and guidelines for handling crises. Who-What-How
  • Procedures for responding to different types of crises, including designated spokespersons, communication channels, messaging templates, and prepared statements.
  • Strategies for rebuilding trust and reputation post-crisis.

A well-executed Social Media Crisis Management Plan is a must-have for safeguarding your brand’s reputation and maintaining trust with stakeholders in the face of a crisis. We at AiPlex ORM have credentialled reputation management specialists and the expertise of handling crisis for multiple brands over the years.  Connect With Us

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AiPlex was established in the year 2003 and is currently one of the most respected Online Reputation Management, Content Protection, and Digital Marketing Solution companies.

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