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Three most useful tips for dealing with a social media crisis

We all know that no one is perfect.

We all have flaws, so it is almost inevitable that one day someone will criticize our products, our services, our ideas, our company, our identity,...


The golden rule to avoid it...? There is no golden rule!


Act quickly, the first 24 hours are decisive, because during this time the crisis can develop and emotions get stronger.


Let's face it, communications relays have impacts and every organization has its weaknesses, there is no such thing as an ideal world.


It is therefore better to be proactive than reactive.


There are really two social networks more sensitive than others to the bad buzz, Twitter and Facebook fertile ground, to the propagation of noise, of rumors of discontent,… With a more important virality for Twitter which is reinforced with great blow of RT (retweet).


Bad buzz is less frequent on LinkedIn, Pinterest,... but these are not the only communication channels that must be managed, we must also think about blogs, as well as sharing platforms (YouTube,...)


It is important to come back to an essential point, a crisis does not arise from social media!


Social media is just a vehicle for communication, dissemination and propagation.


Social media is not the cause of the crisis.


Like all communication media, there are rules to know, to understand. Remember, these are networks of communication and conversation... which is as old as mankind.


Before thinking about blog or not, social networks or not,... it will be necessary to define the best communication strategy and the issues to which your company wants to respond by sending clear messages that answer the questions that your target is asking.


Managing the crisis on social media

The way you react will tell a lot more about your personality, your character or your business, also to help you react in a reasonable way, here are some tips.


Assess the crisis and the scope of the risks: Understand what it is first.


Is it an unhappy customer, a schoolboy joke, a problem with a product, the questioning of company employees, incorrect information in the content of the publication,...?


There is nothing worse than overreacting, too:


1. Don't be defensive.

We cannot please everyone and everyone has the right to have their opinion heard.

Read the comment carefully and don't respond immediately, to prevent what should have been a simple exchange turn into a conflict.

Take the time to reread it, also remember that each person has their own way of expressing themselves to avoid getting carried away, even if the tone is hostile and the criticism not necessarily constructive.


2. Take a step back before responding and giving your opinion.

Analyze the comment and the situation.

Write your answer on the corner of a piece of paper, not directly. Better to have a well-formulated thought that encourages discussion, which will prevent the situation from escalating.


3. Open the chat room. ask questions

If the comment does not leave you room for discussion and it seems closed, critical, or offensive to you, simply ask an open-ended question, it will allow room for improvement of the debate.




Be genuine, don't try to deceive your readers / consumers.

Keep in mind that social media isn't your best friend.



Evaluate the scope and identify the media, be careful not to amplify the crisis by misjudging its scope by acting too quickly because all crises are different and require specific and adapted responses depending on the echo of the news or the misinformation, depending on the communication channels.


Anticipate the crisis before it emerges.


It is necessary to outline the eventualities, in other words to be foresight is to anticipate...


Communication media are a tool on which you express yourself, the rules of communication remain the same as those we use in our daily lives.


To end this article, I'll borrow a phrase: "You have to learn from your mistakes so you don't repeat them."


So an essential rule of strategy is to prepare to foil an attack, rather than hope that it does not happen.


Content and form are also a major issue in customer relations. Create a climate of empathy, listening and understanding.


Managing social networks is a painstaking job, if you don't feel like spending hours on it, consider delegating this task to a professional.

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