Managing a social media crisis is the last thing you want, but in this Internet age, things can move quickly.

Social media are great for building relationships with your customers, but they can also be a

breeding ground for disaster if not handled correctly.

Because going viral can go lol.

What is a social media crisis?

A social media crisis is a situation in which a company experiences negative publicity as a result of its activities on social media.

How does a social media crisis occur?

There have been several high-profile cases of Dutch companies experiencing a social media crisis in recent years.

For example, OHRA went viral after posting this sexist poll:

Managing social media crisis

Not crazy huh…

How do you prevent a social media crisis?

There are several things you can do to prevent a social media crisis.

The most important thing is to have clear, well-defined policies and procedures for responding to any problems.

These can be general housekeeping tasks such as monitoring negative comments or responding quickly to complaints or customer service requests, as well as more sensitive topics such as dealing with offensive content or unfair criticism of your brand.

How do you handle a crisis on social media?

You can manage a social media crisis in several ways.

First, make sure you react quickly and take preventive measures so that things don’t get out of hand. Delete negative comments and block these people.

In addition, there are several steps you can take. We list them below.

Managing a social media crisis in 9 simple steps

It is crucial to listen carefully to what people are saying about your brand and respond quickly and professionally if necessary. Above all, remain calm, diplomatic and proactive so that you maintain the trust of your followers.

The following 9 steps can help you manage a social media crisis.

1. Take a step back and assess the situation

When a social media crisis strikes, it is important to step back and assess the situation. Find out what went wrong, what is being said and how to prevent the crisis from getting worse.

Also look at the impact of your crisis. Will it stay on one platform or transcend channels in the meantime?

2. Determine who is involved and gather all relevant information

When a social media crisis occurs, it is important to determine who is involved and gather all relevant information.

Also find out what went wrong and how to prevent a recurrence.

3. Compose a response

In a social media crisis, it is important to have a standard response ready that you can deploy quickly and effectively.

Stay calm when drafting such a response. Don’t panic and don’t be swayed by emotions. Be kind and apologetic and show that you understand and acknowledge any mistakes.

Apologize quickly and sincerely

Don’t try to trivialize or avoid the issue: take the bull by the horns, address concerns and move forward. Saying sorry 9 times out of 10 already takes the sting out of the story and it costs nothing.

Define your key messages

In any crisis, it is important to communicate with your followers. However, you don’t want to bombard them with too much information at once. Instead, define your key messages and focus on communicating them clearly and concisely. Try to remain calm and diplomatic during this time so that you maintain the trust of your followers.

4. Respond to comments and messages as quickly as possible

One of the most important things to remember when managing a social media crisis is to respond to comments and posts as quickly as possible.

This shows that you are taking the situation seriously and trying to address your followers’ concerns. It also helps prevent the crisis from spiraling out of control.

Switch up your team members and make sure you’re on top!

Don’t delete negative comments, but respond to them

Deleting negative comments is not the wise thing to do. It makes you appear defensive and guilty, and you deprive yourself of the ability to show that you are taking the situation seriously and trying to address the issue.

Moreover, it may exacerbate the situation by making those who have made negative comments even angrier.

5. Show that you are taking steps to prevent future mistakes

It is important to show your followers that you are taking steps to resolve the issue. This may include apologizing for what happened, fixing the problem and/or making changes to improve your social media policy.

6. Take down offensive content

Do you come across offensive content? If so, remove it immediately. This includes anything spammy, inflammatory or inappropriate.

You don’t want your brand to be associated with such content, and it can only do more harm than good.

7. Keep your followers in the loop

Make sure you keep open communication with your followers throughout the crisis. This will help build trust and make sure they know what is happening.

Use your social media platforms to provide updates on the situation, what you are doing to resolve it and how people can contact you if they have questions or concerns.

Also, show empathy. Be understanding. That only bears fruit.

So don’t get smartass like this T-Mobile employee:

Managing Social Media Crisis

8. Keep your tone consistent

This is where the standard response comes in handy: consistency is really keyin a social media crisis.

This means responding to comments and messages in a timely and consistent manner, and sticking to the standard response you have set up.

Don’t deviate from your story and don’t try to tell more than you know – even if you’re put off.

9. Use the right tools and make sure you have everything in sight

The best way to prevent or manage a social media crisis is to deploy good social media monitoring tools. These tools allow you to track all conversations related to your brand, so you can address any issues quickly and easily.

After all, you will go screaming mad if you are bombarded with questions all day.

It is also important to have a 360-degree customer view and omnichannel customer service. This means having visibility into all the interactions your customers have with your brand, whether it’s through social media, phone, chat or email.

With this 360-degree view, you can quickly identify and solve any problem, no matter where it occurs. By providing excellent customer service across all channels, you can minimize the chances of a social media crisis.

Bonus tip: make sure you have a good crisis communication plan in place

A social media crisis can strike at any time, without warning. Therefore, it is important to have a plan so that you know how to handle the situation quickly and effectively.

1. Define your goals

Before you begin creating your plan, it is important to take a step back and think about what you want to achieve.

What are your goals for dealing with the crisis? Are you trying to limit the damage? Or are you more concerned with restoring your customers’ trust? Once you have determined your goals, you can begin to put together your plan.

2. Identify your stakeholders

Who are involved in implementing your plan? Be sure to identify all key stakeholders, including your call center agents, managers, executives and anyone else who needs to be informed.

3. Establish standard messaging

What will you say (and not say) during the crisis? It is important to prepare some key messages in advance so that you can respond quickly and efficiently when the time comes.

Make sure your messaging is consistent across all channels, including social media, email and phone.

4. Set up a monitoring system

How will you keep track of what is being said on social media about the crisis? There are a few different options available, including setting up Google Alerts or using a social media monitoring tool such as OBI4wan.

5. Develop an escalation procedure

What will you do if the situation escalates and becomes more serious? Make sure you have a procedure in place so everyone knows what to do and who to contact if the situation worsens.

By following these tips, you can create a social media crisis communication plan that will allow you to effectively manage any type of situation that arises. With a plan, you can protect your brand’s reputation and maintain your customers’ trust, even in tough times.

Make sure you learn from your social media crisis

A social media crisis is a learning experience, so make sure you learn from it! What went wrong? What worked? What doesn’t? Use this information to improve your policies and procedures for future crises and incorporate that back into your crisis communications plan.

Summary: Managing a social media crisis

A social media crisis can happen to any business, at any time. Therefore, it is important to have a plan so that you can address the situation quickly and effectively.

By following the tips we have provided in this article, you can create a social media crisis communication plan that will help you manage any type of situation that arises.

Use this information to protect your brand’s reputation and maintain your customers’ trust during tough times.