I get asked this question often:
“How can we prevent a social media crisis?”
Although many crises are unexpected and unavoidable, there are strategies that you can put in place right now that will help you prevent the preventable.
In fact, the Altimeter Group recently released a report stating that 76% of social media crises could have been avoided. Seventy-six percent!
So how can you protect your company or organization from falling into this 76%?
The following are 4 steps your company or organization should take right now in order to prevent the preventable social media crises:
1- Risk assessment
If you want to prevent the preventable risk that social media and the Internet present to your brand, than a risk assessment is your first step in doing so. As we saw within this post, your risk assessment involves, amongst other things, assessing all possible and potential risk that may present itself to your brand online and determining which risks are preventable and avoidable. This workshop should be proceeded with putting the right policies and procedures in place in order to actually prevent the preventable.
2- Understand the expectations of your audience and market
Your audience has high expectations of the brands they follow and interact with online – especially in a crisis. Expectations such as two-way and real-time communications, both in and out of a crisis. It’s very important that your crisis teams understand what these expectations are and how to meet them, before you find yourself faced with an online issue of any sort.
3- Focus on building and strengthening your relationship with your fans and customers
Continuously focusing on building a relationship with your audience is one of the tricks to making sure that your team always acts with their best interest at heart – in and out of a crisis. Social media is all about building real and lasting relationships and in order to do that you must:
- Be human
- Be sincere, understanding and respectable
- Continuously ask yourself “what can I do / how can I respond in a way that will strengthen our relationship instead of diminishing it?”
4- Have a social media crisis management plan in place
The proper social media crisis plan will prepare you and your entire team with the skills and tools to:
- Prevent the preventable social media crises
- Understand how to properly respond to social media issues in order to prevent them from escalating into full-blown crises
- Be able to regain control of a social media crisis quickly, efficiently and with minimum repercussions to your brand’s reputation and bottom-line
Although many social media crises are unpreventable and unforeseeable, with the right mindset, attitude, risk assessment and plan you can sleep easy at night knowing that if a social media crisis were to present itself, you would not fall into that tragic 76%.