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Does your business have a Social Media Crisis Management Plan?

ticking-time-bombWhat’s our preferred method of complaining nowadays ? Are we more inclined to have a rationale face-to-face conversation to voice our concerns or displeasure at a company’s product or service? Or are we now more likely to hide behind technology, and aim our disatisfaction at the company’s social media accounts?

Just a quick trawl of sites like Yelp or Trip Advisor provides an eye opening insight into the world of the “Keyboard Warrior”. A quick scroll of most train company Twitter accounts reveal the multitude of customers taking to social media to voice their displeasure that the 6:20am train from Turnpike Corner hasn’t arrived and is now making them late for work. A dekko into any local Facebook group will throw out a disgruntled customer proclaiming how they had to wait ages for a table at their local restaurant, or how the food was cold and overpriced and everyone should avoid going to that establishment.

We, as a nation love to complain, and complaining to big customer-facing companies via Social Media is fair game… right? They are set up for complainers….. they’ve got big social media teams ready to answer complaints and hand out free vouchers & refunds right? It doesn’t impact on their brand and their reputation… does it?

Whether a large or small company, keyboard warriors can affect your business substantially. What happens if the Social Media lynch mob comes knocking at your company’s virtual door? What happens if the actions of an individual staff member, or a single customer seeks to do damage to your business and to your online reputation? How can small and medium sized businesses protect themselves?

This week, we witnessed a huge fall-out over Social Media for a small company. Following an unfortunate incident/misunderstanding involving a staff member & an under 18 customer, a company we know of, bore the brunt of a public angry lynch mob. After the parents took to Social Media to complain about the treatment of their child by this business, they besseched their friends and family to go to the company’s Facebook Page and leave negative reviews and comments.

Hence the company suddenly found themselves fielding an onslaught of bad reviews & comments on their social media accounts from people who had never even used their services, calling them out to comment on the situation and trying to involve local press by tagging them in the comments. These people were determined to try and saturate this company’s online presence and reputation with negative reviews and comments & ensure that their strong views were heard.

If you are not aware, businesses can’t delete reviews others leave for them via Facebook, Google, Trip Advisor and other sites. They are there for the world to see, whether fair or not, so this company was left with lots of negative comments all over social media about them, all because of one incident, involving one customer.

It only takes one person, or one incident on social media to do serious damage to your business reputation!

This company obviously had a good Social Media Crisis Management Plan as they were able to apply some damage limitation, tackle the problem head on, and get the issue resolved without it snowballing too widely.

We have had this kind of situation happen to our own clients. In one case a disgruntled customer left negative reviews and comments across their social media accounts aiming to ruin their good reputation. Luckily we were able to help them with social media damage limitation and resolution, and curb the situation before it spiralled out of control. Luckily our client had a Social Media Crisis Management Plan.

It’s so important to know what to do if this situation comes knocking unexpectedly at your door. So whether you find yourself in this situation unplanned, or you are looking to plan for the future, a good Social Media Crisis Management Plan is vital. You need to know what you would do to resolve online negativity and a company like us can help and advise you.

Do you have a Social Media Crisis Management plan? If you don’t, please get in touch with us to find out how we can help!

October 5, 2016 In: social media crisis management Comments (None)