managing a social media crisis doesn’t cost very much
expensive: conversely, the slightest error can be revealed financially
disastrous. With this guide, you will have access to our list of fundamentals not to
not lose sight of.The unprecedented rise of online media has
resulted in an explosion of readily available information. As well as a
sharp increase in the number of communication channels available between
brands and consumers. This means that from time to time, brands
have to manage a crisis on social media.
The new communication rules
The rise of social media has had many
repercussions on brand communication. Not only the speed of
information flow has been greatly accelerated, but the slightest communication
now belongs to the public domain. When a customer complains, he does so
Managing your e-reputation through
of social media should, in large part:
- Increase your brand awareness;
- Stimulate customer engagement;
- Assist in product development;
- And indirectly, improve your sales.
So it is imperative to design a plan
of action to avoid a crisis on social media and cut short the
damage to your brand’s e-reputation before the crisis
Managing your e-reputation well before a crisis
isn’t really expensive – but the slightest mistake can quickly settle
with a more salty note.
However perfect the plan,
sometimes the connected audience explodes.
Identify a crisis on social media
First, there are
different types of seizures. Some of them may be predictable,
or processed quickly. Others come out of nowhere, without warning.
- Predictable problems : product recall, reduced service due to
bad weather, data leaks, etc. are all problems that can, and
should be avoided.
- The latent problems : these are continuous, low-intensity problems that can get worse if
they are given oxygen somehow. It may concern
political activism or technical weakness.
- Unpredictable problems : this may relate to a product or a campaign that does not
not go as planned or an event beyond the control of the brand.
The first part of the plan aims to identify the problem. Most of
companies are now informed of problems and crises, not
internally, but through social media. Likewise, these problems are addressed on
social media before reaching the press.
This means that setting up a social media watch process can save you valuable time. You can manually set keywords to watch (think of the worst things that could happen to your business), or use an advanced tool like Brandwatch to use an automatic analytics system.
The intelligent Brandwatch Signals alert feature will warn you of a sudden change in your data, letting you be notified of crises you never even imagined. You can also set up custom alerts to notify you when influential people post negative comments about your brand.
For example, Carrefour could have been informed
of this tweet posted on the account of the editor of the regional newspaper
Worsening Social Media Crisis
Once a problem is identified, the
first task is to determine its category and extent. In general,
this approach includes the following 3 indicators.
What is said: the seriousness of the problem
A complaint for a day late in the
delivery should not bring the social media crisis management team
to pull your hair out. If the level of severity determines the reaction, it
will also affect the level of those responsible for
reply ; from the customer service team to senior management.
Who says it: the influence or the authority of the person
who expresses himself
While some problems will get worse what
regardless of the number of messages posted on this subject, others will not take
the breadth that if an influential person with a reach of thousands
of users makes a derogatory comment. For the same reasons which
make influencer marketing work so well, having such
speaking on a specific problem can quickly lead to
How many times do we say it – does the problem become
more or less visible?
The nature of a crisis varies according to the size of
the organization and the number of mentions it receives on a daily basis.
You can determine the extent of the crisis by following the evolution of the volume
of tweets and the speed of that change. It also lets you know
if the problem is getting worse, has reached its zenith, or is prone
How to deal with a crisis on social media
There are two immediate decisions to make. The
first is whether to answer, the second is whether
changes need to be made as a result of the crisis.
In some cases, the best way to act
is simply not to react. It takes guts, but if the crisis is to
small, short-lived and declining, commenting cannot
that put oil on the fire.
A crisis involving a
really serious incident (injury or death, for example) forced
the organization to intervene, which is more timely. She will have to
explain why the incident happened and maybe ask for an apology,
then take stock of what is being done about this incident, as well as the
changes made to make sure it doesn’t happen again. The exact nature
the answer will of course depend on the nature of the crisis.
If a declaration is necessary, the teams
public relations and communications of the organization should take
go ahead and prepare a press release and then decide on the best way to do it
disseminate in social and traditional media.
To be the best possible, a
declaration must take into account:
- Facts and gravity of the crisis;
- In the mood of the public;
- Channels on which the statement will be published / disseminated;
- While being written in an appropriate tone of voice and broadcast on selected channels.
Use common sense, adapt your approach and
your tone to the severity of the problem Humor can be helpful in some cases
as La Redoute proved with this video following the buzz of the naked man.
Media Crisis Management Case Study
LateRooms, a website specializing in hotel reservations in
line, combined the power of social intelligence and excellent service
to customers to avoid a minor crisis. Brandwatch Signals alerted the
mark regarding a negative thread on which a former customer
having had a bad experience strongly discouraged anyone from buying
Once alerted, the social team found
the customer’s contact information in their database and contacted them directly.
The latter saw his problems resolved; he even showed himself so much
satisfied with how the company handled the situation he then
removed their posts from the thread, before the discussion was deleted itself.
This case study shows the power of social
listening to quickly detect criticisms and set up a
strategy that keeps the problem from getting worse.
History teaches us that
organizations recovering from a crisis with an intact reputation are
the ones that are best prepared.
To learn more about crisis management, you can download the Brandwatch white paper: The expert guide to crisis management in seven steps
Article written in collaboration with Brandwatch