Ini Augustine, CEO of SocialWise Media Group, will present a workshop session on “Social Media and Diversity on the Web” on July 25th at the 2014 Diversity Leadership Retreat.
In today’s quickly changing social environment, every company should be prepared to handle a social media crisis. It’s not a question of if, but when you, or your company could be under attack online. Even though a social media crisis starts small, it can progress into something that is very difficult to handle. This is why it is crucial that you detect a social media crisis while it is still in its early stages.
Step #1: Don’t ignore it
Social Media fiascos typically start with something small. A customer posts a bad review, or a negative blog is posted. Recognize that this is the point at which your company should respond to the situation proactively.
When you notice an unhappy or angry customer has left a not-so-good review on your Facebook or Twitter page, it’s a good time to reach out. It is crucial to constantly monitor your company page and set a Google alert for your brand. Once you spot a potential social media crisis, try to resolve the problem that is causing it.
Step #2: Identify the Problem
Accepting blame is not a typical human response. While there are individuals out there that will never be happy, consider the fact that most customers are being honest about their experience. Apologize, right away if you are sorry. Explain why your company has a certain policy if you’re not.
A certain company went through a sudden social media crisis when a fan posted a question asking for directions on how he could ask them for help and they failed to respond. Because of this, the fan posted very bad reviews about the company the next day, which went viral quickly. People shared the negative post more than 50 times in 24 hrs. Once we stepped in, we approached the unhappy poster, and provided him with the info that was required. He then posted a positive review, which got shared 15 times.
Step #3: Be Proactive, not reactive
One of the biggest mistakes is not respond to customer inquiries or reviews. Respond to posts and messages within 2 hours. Social Media leaves a public record of how your company handles customer service. A pro-active response tells your customers that you are serious about their concerns and want to satisfy their need. When used properly, social media can actually help publicize stellar customer service.
Step #4: Don’t get Lazy
Once you have successfully managed your current social media crisis, you need to work towards making sure that it doesn’t happen again. For this reason, it is vital that you assign responsibility for all your social media pages and accounts. Either hire an agency to do it for you, or train an employee to do it in house. Maintaining your online legacy is an ongoing process.
Ini Augustine is the CEO of SocialWise Media Group. She is Aspiring Businesswoman of the year 2013 for NAWBO , The National Association of Women Business Owners. In 2006, Ini Augustine was named Businesswoman of the year for her work on the Business Advisory Council to Congress. She received a Congressional Medal of Distinction for her contributions to that same council. You can follow her @mrsmadbiz or connect on LinkedIn.
About SocialWise Media Group
SocialWise Media Group uses platforms like Pinterest, Facebook, Blogging, and Twitter to build stronger customer relationships. SocialWise Media Group specializes in social media management and training for Non-Profit’s & SMB’s.