Running a business is extremely challenging. You do all that you can to ensure you deliver the best product or service in an ethical manner. Sometimes, situations arise that are unexpected and can leave your business cast in a negative light. Depending on the size of your business this situation can effect more people or reach a larger audience. In any event, it is important that if there is negative publicity surrounding your business you handle it immediately. And what better way to do that then to speak directly to your community through social media channels.
- Create a Landing Page for the Situation: First start by picking a crisis relevant, safe URL for building your page. Make sure the webpage is company branded. Then include the facts about the situation, for example, what caused someone to negatively attack your brand, what the perpetrator is claiming/doing to convey their message, and finally, what really happened from your company’s point of view. Be sure to include any photos, documents, etc. to help defend your stance. Important note: If your company is at fault, confess to your mistake and use the following steps to say what you will do differently next time or fix your mistake.
- Come Clean to your Social Community: As soon as you get wind of the situation, turn all of your attention to your social network channels. This is the quickest way possible to deliver your message and it will surely be the most important. Why? Because the people that are connected to you in a social world actually care about your brand. These people are supporters of your company and you will need them moving forward to overcome the current predicament. Important note: Direct people back to your newly built landing page which will provide more information about the situation.
- Create a Defensive Social Media Strategy: Take your social media efforts even further by launching a new campaign directly aimed at your social channels. Use your Twitter, Facebook, and Google + followers as your army to fight back. The nature of the social campaign differs depending on the situation, but if you are able to get people in your loyal community to contradict what is being said by the perpetrator, you will have more strength mitigating the situation. Important note: Take advantage of your newly build landing page by having community members add their positive experience, thoughts, stories, etc. This will strengthen your stance.
- Keep Consistent: No matter what type of campaign you decide to run or the direction you choose to go, be sure you continue your social media efforts for as long as you deem appropriate. Important note: Make sure you go above and beyond the time you think is necessary.
- Learn from your Mistakes: ENOUGH SAID.
Although some business owners don't take social media seriously, in this case you should. Social media is where people will speak out against your business and if you aren't listening or responding, the conversation will keep going. Only you won't be there to dictate the direction it goes...