As promised in my last post, here are the last five steps for managing an online crisis:
6. Always ensure your team feels empowered and involved by giving them the tools and resources to help.
7. Create a crisis FAQ were you can put all the information about the crisis in one place. This allows you to respond to questions, saves time and prevents misinterpretation of your responses. This crisis FAQ should include aspects from acknowledging of the crisis to steps taken to prevent future occurrence.
8. Developing a Pressure Relief Valve which will allow people to express their feelings on the crisis but in an environment which you can control. An example when this step was successful utilized was during the hype of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Penn State University used their own Facebook page as a median were students could communicate their anger. Hence, as it was their page they could see, find, moderate, and answer back.
9. It’s exceptionally important for companies to acknowledge when to take it offline. Managing a social media crisis is about reducing the damage control; therefore it is important to not get into any form of an argument with customers online. Hence, it may often be best to simply offer your phone number or email address, and encourage customers to contact you if they are unhappy with the overall outcome.
10. After the crisis subsides and the company has regained control and resolved the issue; ensure you militate against any such similar crisis occurring in the future showing you learned you lesson. It may also be an idea to amend and improve your crisis plan for future reference.
Tune in next time for my final post which will incorporate some inspiring companies of how some outstanding companies handled their past social media crisis. It will be a great learning experience, trust me!!
Baer, J(2012) Don’t Be Scared Be Prepared – How to Manage a Social Media Crisis, [online], Available at:http://www.convinceandconvert.com/social-media-crisis-2/dont-be-scared-be-prepared-how-to-manage-a-social-media-crisis/, (accessed 01/12/2013).
Dietrich, G (2013), Ten Steps of Managing an Online Crisis, [online], Available at: http://socialmediatoday.com/ginidietrich/1426981/ten-steps-managing-online-crisis, (5/12/2013).