Most companies will face a social media crisis at some point. A social media crisis plan can help you manage the situation and limit the damage, even if the crisis is less severe than others.

Every business needs to have a social media crisis management plan in place so that its marketers and social media managers can respond effectively in the event of a crisis. With your crisis survival guide by your side, you can handle any emergency.

Create a Social Media Crisis Action Plan and Document It

Obtain your free crisis communication strategy template before we delve into the specifics of crisis planning. Check out this thread for some helpful pointers. Then, have it readily available for your group so that you can face any eventuality.

Is There a Definition for a Social Media Crisis?

We must first agree on what constitutes a crisis and what does not.

A social media message with an incorrect link to a blog post is an oversight, but it’s not a major problem.

Using a national disaster to promote your products and then facing criticism for doing so is undoubtedly a crisis situation.

Sometimes the first case occurs. We are fallible beings. Since we are all so preoccupied, it is easy for little things to be forgotten. However, the second scenario necessitates immediate attention. The brand may have been severely harmed as a result of a strategic decision.

Develop a Media Reaction to Crisis Index

It was a brilliant idea on the part of Convince and Convert to come up with a way to deal with this issue.

They developed a customer service flowchart that determines the best next steps based on the gravity of a problem. See an example of theirs below:
You can make something very similar by classifying problems into five categories, as follows:

Normal inquiries that can be handled by your customer service team.

An illustration from Delta is as follows: This customer tweeted us about an issue with elite status upgrades.

  • Instances that would fall under each category are provided below:
  • Situational crisis level 1 involves a few customers raising specific concerns.
  • Customer complaints, links that don’t work, posts that link to the wrong place, incorrect information, and glaring typos all constitute a Level 2 crisis on social media.
  • Customers are becoming increasingly irate, there are disruptions in service, and essential goods are temporarily unavailable, all of which constitute a Level 3 crisis.
  • Products or services are recalled because of widespread problems, there is negative press coverage, and/or employees are laid off.
  • Lawsuits, major accidents with serious injuries, or illegal behaviour on the part of employees constitute a Level 5 crisis.

Obviously, this isn’t a scientific scale, but it should help you get a sense of what’s most important. Crisis doesn’t exist unless it rises above Level 2. Anything below a Level 3 should probably just be handled by your customer service team or handled through standard PR channels without further escalation.

Use of Social Listening in Crisis Detection

You’ve seen firsthand what a true emergency is like. Let’s talk about how to recognise them as they occur next.

In a time of crisis, saying nothing is among the worst possible responses. If you want to respond quickly to any mentions of your brand, you need to make sure you’re keeping tabs on them.

Using social listening is the most effective method for accomplishing this. It’s good news that you can accomplish this with CoSchedule. Previously, scheduling social media messages necessitated maintaining two distinct accounts.
Is there a way I can tell if there’s a problem with my brand?

Just do these two things:

Monitor the number of times your brand is mentioned online. In order to keep up with the ongoing conversation, check in on the forum at regular intervals and set up email alerts to receive updates.

The situation can be evaluated using your crisis scale. Then you should react appropriately.

Hootsuite suggests establishing crisis thresholds in order to establish when a certain number of negative messages constitutes a crisis. They give the following scenario, involving a made-up sportswear company:
Five or fewer critical comments per hour: Always keep a close eye on things. Throughout the day, you worked to gather data for a report that would be presented to upper management that night.
For every hour where there are more than five negative comments: Get started delegating Hootsuite messages to the PR manager.
Ten or more critical comments in a given hour, for a minimum of three hours: Get ahold of the CMO on her mobile phone and start implementing the social media crisis management strategy.

Prepare for Emergencies Before They Occur

Averting a medical problem entirely is preferable.

The next best thing is to have a plan in place before things go awry.

You should always have these four things on hand in case of an emergency.

Establish a Plan of Action for Internal Emergency Response

The majority of your staff members probably have personal social media profiles. When a catastrophe occurs, people may be unsure of what they should or should not say in public.

Making sure they don’t go rogue or spill the beans is crucial. There’s a chance this will make things even worse.

Prepare a written strategy for dealing with the situation in advance.

Safeguard Your Social Media Passwords

This matters for two main reasons:
If you suspect a hack is at the root of your crisis, changing your passwords is a good idea. It’s also possible that you’ll want to modify your login credentials, such as your email address and username.
It’s crucial that all authorised personnel know where to find the login information in the event that it’s necessary to delete something or halt automated posts.

The Real-World Application of Your Social Media Crisis Strategy

It’s important to maintain your composure.

It’s more likely that errors will occur if you overreact or move too quickly. Hold your ground and try not to let things get out of hand.

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