The social web is an incredible tool for marketers to propel their brand and promote products. The fast, free, and limitless opportunities of the social sites provide a cost-effective marketing channel and a worldwide potential consumer-base. Apart from promotions, social media is also an excellent customer support tool.
But, with such high prospects comes a greater potential for disasters. A simple mistake while addressing users can lead to a social media crisis. Such mistakes can result in enraged consumers, trolls, and memes that can diminish a brand’s reputation.
No need to be anxious, with proper planning and execution, you can avoid such missteps that may lead to a social media crisis.
What missteps could lead to a social media crisis?
There are many examples where simple mistakes in a tweet, such as spelling and grammar caught the attention of trolls and memes. Ask Susan Boyle’s PR team that chose a simple hashtag to promote a new album without considering the possible interpretations of the hashtag (#susanalbumparty).
There are cases where employees working for the brands have made mistakes and caused a social media crisis. Blackberry chose Alicia Keys as the new Global Creative Director during the launch of the Blackberry 10.
She immediately took to Twitter to show her appreciation, but she sent out the tweet with an iPhone. Further, she claimed that her account was hacked, and she didn’t send out the tweet. Twitter users immediately put her dedication towards the brand in question and caused a major crisis for Blackberry.
The most complicated social media crisis is the one where a brand gets involved in a racist or sexist conversation. The tweet might not be intentional, but a prank or frustration, let out by an employee.
One such case is Vodafone UK, where an employee sent out a similar tweet in the customer support forum on Twitter.
The company apologized to each user to overcome the crisis and regain the trust of its consumers.
Measures to evade social media crisis
The foremost measure to avoid a social media crisis is to create content that appeals to the target audience and does not offend. The audience on social sites is diverse and distinctive in terms of demographics, tastes, and preferences. The key here is, opt for brand values and post content that is fitting and appealing to the target audience.
Social media team
Assigning your social media undertakings to an inexperienced team or intern may save you money but, the chances of a disaster are very high. Also, the team may prove incapable of handling a social media crisis.
It is vital to assign an experienced group of individuals capable of executing and monitoring your social site activities. A team that can act quickly, take the blame by responding professionally and has experience in building and retaining communities.
Social Media Crisis prevention plan
Social media crises cannot be foreseen or predicted, but it is crucial to put a plan in place for such scenarios. A crisis can cause panic and result in poor decision-making.
Having a pre-planned strategy in place with assigned roles and strategies to implement can help overcome such a crisis. Although, it is essential to train employees for such situations.
Engage with followers
Marketers often view social networking sites as a platform to increase sales. But, it is also a terrific platform for customer support. Brands can directly engage with their consumers and gain vital insights into the likes and dislikes of the followers.
Marketers can also use the social web to resolve consumer complaints and improve user experience.
Acknowledge and apologize for mistakes
Deepest apologies for an irresponsible tweet that is in no way a representation of the brand’s opinion. #nbcpolitics
— KitchenAid (@KitchenAidUSA) October 4, 2012
A simple mistake on a social site can become viral and result in a crisis. It could be a mistake by the social media team or an unforeseen event. It is essential to take measures and apologize for the mistake. Remember, the best way to seek forgiveness is to apologize before it tarnishes your reputation.
Monitor brand mentions
A lot of unsatisfied customers don’t engage directly with the brand of their poor experiences. It is essential to identify such conversations before it becomes a social media crisis.
Hi Natalie, thanks for reaching out. We’re so sorry for any trouble with pausing your account. If you could please send us a DM, we’d be happy to look into this for you.
— ClassPass (@classpass) February 22, 2021
Marketers can use third-party tools to monitor keywords and @mentions to identify such conversations and resolve them, it can be a great customer support and feedback mechanism.
A social media crisis can happen due to various reasons. Be it a mistake by the brand itself or an unresolved consumer complaint. Usually, consumers opt for the social web as a last resort to resolve their issues.
Thus, the social media team must respond immediately and professionally before the matter escalates and results in a viral social media crisis.
Social media crisis guidelines for employees
Employees can prove to be a great tool to elevate your brand. But, apart from promoting the brand, employees also post personal experiences. It is not uncommon to find employees complaining or express pent-up frustration about the job.
These social media posts can affect the brand’s image. Thus, organizations should draft a social media guideline for employees to engage in social sites concerning the brand.
Learn from other brands successful crisis prevention strategies and failures
Many brands do a great job of overcoming social media crises while others are not so fortunate. These are real-life examples that provide deep insights into the do’s and don’ts in a crisis.
It is the key to learn and formulate effective strategies to counter any social media crisis scenario.
Social media is a great cost-effective platform for brands to promote themselves. But, it is also a great platform for consumers to express their poor experiences, complaints, and to seek a solution.
If these complaints are not identified and resolved quickly, it could lead to a major social media crisis. Marketers and brands can use third-party tools to resolve such issues and avoid a crisis.
FollowersAnalysis is one such amazing tool that can help track keywords, @mentions to identify and resolve conversations so they do not harm the brand image. Do give it a try!
See you again.