Thursday, March 31, 2011

How to Combat a Social Media Crisis

Are you prepared for a social media crisis?

In the event of one, Jay Baer and Amber Naslund, in The Now Revolutionrecommend these eight steps:

Acknowledge the crisis. Right at the onset, let customers and social media onlookers know you’re not asleep at the wheel.

Fight fire with fire. It’s imperative to communicate through the vehicle where the crisis started.  If it broke out on Twitter, respond first on Twitter.

Apologize. If you made a mistake and want the healing process to begin quickly, start with “We’re sorry.”

Create an FAQ. List the prominent inquiries about the crisis and provide your responses, even if you don’t have complete answers to every question. Update the document in real time.

Build a pressure-relief valve. Open your blog to comments and your Facebook page to discussions. Consider creating a dedicated discussion forum.

Know when to take it off line. Engage people who are extremely upset off line. You can usually reduce the toxicity.

Arm your army. Provide your team with the same information you provide the public. Often, communication professionals are so busy during a crisis they fail to keep employees in the loop.

Learn your lessons. Once the crisis has abated, document it, so you reconstruct and learn from your response.
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