A crisis on the social networks are inexorable: even though you are keeping an on-going contact with your followers and even being well prepared and doing it in a clever way, dealing with occasional detractors, in a careless moment, a misinterpretation or a direct attack from the competency or a hater, could make you have to use promptly your social network crisis plan.
That´s the reason why, if your business has presence on the social networks, it would be vital to have operating guidelines to use them in case of crisis.
3 practical tips to apply in case of a crisis on social networks
If still I have not convince you about the importance of having a crisis plan in case of a reputation attack against our business or persona, I will tell you that just in Spain there are more than 25,5 million users on the social networks, using an average of 4,7 accounts during 57 minutes a day (extracted information from IAB last study about social networks).
Are you completely sure none of this 25,5 million users could criticize you or misread a marketing action, or even evince a mistake in front of the rest of the users? Down below, you will find 3 suggestions to handle any kind of social networks crisis.
Delete / Solve the reason of the crisis
First of all, if the crisis is related to a communication fail or regarding to a misread campaign, we have to eliminate the post and explain the reasons, along with an apology if necessary.
If we make sure this is done correctly, the social network community will tend to appreciate and understand the situation and probably praise the honesty of how you´ve faced the circumstances.
What we never should do: Simply delete the negative comments. This initiative will just multiply the attacks and give credibility to the bad reviews. Neither it is recommended deleting the evidence without an explanation like if nothing ever happened.
Be transparent and keep your audience informed
This step applies when the crisis is resulting from a fail in our company. Sometimes, not even the most efficient of the corporations are free of making mistakes.
In this specific situation it is important to take the blame and announce as soon as possible the reason of the failure, explaining that you are working on a solution. Transparency is very appreciated and both, users and the rest of the community will consider your sincerity about the issue.
What we never should do: Not give information and follow-ups about the situation, you could find more information about it in the Not to do list on a reputation crisis situation. It is essential to keep the community aware of the progress since not doing it could cause tension between the involved people. We need to make sure the impacted customers are calm and collected, otherwise the crisis will proliferate and get more difficult to eradicate.
Compensate the mistake if is your fault, proof it if is not.
Sometimes an apology is not enough to fix an issue: in some cases the scale of the mistake is that major that in terms of regaining the users trust we need to compensate it in some other way: offering discounts, promotions or even providing them with a new and improved version of the complained service. Generally, this type of actions not just end up with the crisis but also becomes a positive advertisement for our brand.
In some other cases, the reputation crisis it´s not caused because our company mistake: we could find “trolls” or “haters” that just as hobby try to disrupt the community managers. Even the competence could be behind of the attack. In such a case, it would be enough to demonstrate the circumstances and make sure the community become aware of the situation.
What we never should do: the compensation must be equivalent to the mistake. Not being generous could make our impacted customers feel underestimated.
Regarding to the free attacks, we can never get at the same level as them and get controversial with the matter. A direct and precise response it is all we need to make sure the community knows about it.
The 3 good practise tips that we have seeing are part of a simple plan in case of a reputation crisis and we could put them into operation any moment.
Our last advise, is to get in touch with a specialist agency in reputation matters: they could be very helpful in case you are having a crisis and don’t know how manage it, providing you with an individual and defined plan to solve the situation; also, afterwards they could even help you to eliminate any bad reputation trace that could be left.