If you choose to be on social, you need to be social. That means you need to interact with your followers. Of course, it might happen that people write on your page, or send you a message. Sometimes this might be positive feedback, however – you can’t please all of the people all of the time. So as Murphy once said, “everything that can go wrong, will go wrong”.
In a report by Oracle, it shows that 50% of consumers give a brand
only one week to respond to a question before they stop doing business with
them. That’s harsh?! Let’s define a social media crisis before we continue. A social media crisis is something that spins out of control, that wasn’t the result of something you have posted, or that you are directly in control of. When (not if) the storm blows up – what should you do?
Show that you care
Nothing is worse than those half-assed, emotionless replies that are posted just for the sake of replying. Show that you care about your fans experience, and are willing to go above and beyond to turn the experience around.
There might be times that you disagree with a customer posting on your page. However turning the thread of replies into a battleground is unacceptable. You are in a public forum and your efforts to calm, understand and empathise with this customer may go unnoticed by them initially but will be considered valiant by other customers reading your efforts. Consider how to direct the interaction in other ways, offer private messaging or offering to call them to discuss. Make these offers publically and even if refused you are making every effort to take control & resolve the situation and your last response can be that you have done all within your power to help and been refused, so you have to move on.
Failing to prepare is preparing to fail
As stated above – anything that can go wrong will go wrong, eventually. So plan ahead – don’t wait around until something goes wrong. A good tip is to identify who will be responsible for dealing with issues in advance, and create a do’s & don’t list for those responsible for replying.
Listen to what people are saying
Using social listening tools (like 24SevenSocial Listen) you can easily pick up potential crises before they blow up into chaos. Our tip here is to use software that let’s you track owned media and organic media. That means that you listen to conversations people have with you in your channels, as well as conversations in channels you do not own or control.
Breathe and count to ten
Before you do anything, take a deep breath and count to ten. Often, how you handle the issue is perceived more important than the issue itself. Write down what you consider to reply, and have one of your colleagues take a look at the response. Having a fresh pair of eyes look over your response might uncover things that can be perceived to fuel the fire further.