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3 Tips to Prevent a Social Media Crisis

Jessica Lam.

Consumers love to share their praises and complaints on their social media accounts. While praises from consumers on a brand page are certainly wins for the brand, as marketers, we should always be prepared to deal with a social media crisis. Below are three high-level tips to incorporate into your social media knowledge arsenal.

Know What The Bigger Picture Looks Like

Be mindful of the type of content you're posting. Although it's hard to predict how people will react to any one post, it's a good idea to steer clear of highly sensitive topics no matter how wittily you're presenting it – you just don't want to risk it. For example, The Home Depot's tweet from late last year sparked some public outrage with people considering it to be racist. Brands should consider both the copy and the imagery accompanying the posts to make sure audiences don't get the wrong (and negative) meaning of the post.

Home Depot Social Media Crisis

Conversation Is a Two-Way Road

Treat social channel management as a conversation. Simply posting new, clever content just isn't cutting it anymore when trying to engage your audiences. Fans and followers are using social media as a way to easily connect with their favorite brands so as marketers, we have to make sure we reciprocate their support for the brand. That means when people post on brand channels, we should respond to as many of them as possible in a timely manner, regardless of the comment being negative or positive. Waiting too long to respond or just ignoring questions in general would make fans/followers even angrier. Here's how Head and Shoulders turned a complaint into a compliment. Although the complaint was light-hearted in nature, the brand took it to the next step and made the situation into a positive one.

Head and Shoulders Customer Service Interaction

Plan B, and C, and D and E

Ensure all parties working with the brand are aware of the contingency plan. Truth be told, you may not be the only one working on the account – there could be the PR agencies, ad agencies and the internal MarCom teams. With so many people touching the business, it is imperative all parties are aware of a contingency plan. This "who to contact?" and "what to do next?" plan should already be developed for reference when things turn sour. Having a plan in place will prevent any representative from going rogue and making the situation much worse.

 

Read Next: Consider Customer Service to Establish Social Media ROI


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