For most of us, social media is something we engage with on a day to day basis, whether it is socially, for entertainment, or work. Many of us don’t think twice about what we like, comment, or share as it’s such a natural thing to do on a daily basis. Due to reactivity of social media, it has become a place where honest opinions come easily and in some cases, a place where users vent their thoughts, feelings and even frustrations.
Because of this, social media has thrown a real spanner in the works for brands and businesses, with more avenues for a potential PR crisis to occur. Because reputation is built from what others think and say, social media can have a huge impact on opening up conversations about what people think of your brand, for better or worse. When things go wrong – social media is often the first place people go to talk about it!
So with this in mind, how can brands keep tabs on their reputation in the age of social media? And what can they do to lessen its impact? Read our thoughts below.
Develop a social media crisis management plan
This may seem obvious, but it is hugely important to implement a crisis management plan for social media, should a crisis occur on the channels. Knowing what to do in case a crisis does happen can massively lessen it’s impact on your brand or business. This will avoid you having to frantically pull together a plan after or whilst it’s happening – when mistakes are likely to be made. It’s much better to be prepared! Consider things such as issuing a statement and who this will come from, how quickly you’ll react, will you respond to comments on your channels – all of these factors should be taken into consideration for your social media crisis plan.
Pause all scheduled posts
When a crisis occurs, one of the first things you should do is pause all scheduled posts that are due to go out. This can be frustrating to have to pull the plug on planned content – but during a crisis, issuing your regular social media content is not likely to go down well. Make sure you react to this quickly and don’t let anything slip through the net. Even if your posts are light-hearted, and don’t have any direct correlation to the crisis, it is better to be safe than sorry and wait until the situation has been resolved.
Appoint a company spokesperson
It is always a good idea to have someone that can speak on behalf of the company during a crisis period. This person should be someone recognisable within the business – a familiar face/name that people can associate clearly to the brand. Using someone of this stature will help people feel reassured that the crisis is being dealt with from the top, and not being brushed under the carpet. People also relate to people – so putting a face out there in wake of a crisis will provide a level of reassurance.
Use a social listening tool
Using a social social listening tool is great for monitoring conversations during a social media crisis. This can include keeping an eye on any key words people may be mentioning, how often they’re mentioned, and on what platform. This can then allow you to monitor the situation more closely, and help you to spot any patterns or changes in what people are saying – whilst also helping you to react efficiently.
Make sure your accounts are secure
It is incredibly important that social accounts are kept secure, with strong passwords and extra verification to be on the safe side. The last thing you would want in a crisis is for your social channels to be hacked! Therefore it is a good idea to make sure all your accounts are secure and only in the hands of trusted members of your team.
Navigating a social media crisis can be tricky especially if you’re new to social media and don’t know the ins and outs of every platform. Recognising how fast information moves online is paramount in understanding what action to take and when, but pausing all your usual social activity is essential to taking a calm and measured response, without making the situation ten times worse. The main thing we can take away from this is to always be prepared for any situation, and make sure you have a proper social media management strategy in place.
For more interesting articles, check out these posts:
- Top Five PR disasters Of 2022 So Far
- How To Prepare A Crisis PR Plan
- 10 Crisis Communication Tips Every Business Needs