You Are One Tweet Away from a Social Media Crisis

Jan 3 2014

Stay Calm and Respond

Faheem Gill

A crisis can start in seconds

We have seen the social media mistakes that quickly take on a life of their own and result in a crisis. Whether you are an individual like a corporation there are some key steps that must be taken to bring a crisis under control.

Before the Crisis

Before a social media crisis hits a company needs to have a crisis mitigation plan in place.
This includes who will respond within the organization, what the response will be and when the response will happen.

In addition, companies should connect with influencers from a spectrum of social circles to help mitigate the crisis if/when it occurs.

As the storm comes


    Before a social media post becomes viral, constant monitoring will give you real-time feedback on the response from the public and you will have the ability to change your message before it gathers steam.

Apologize. Don't Delete

    It will be difficult but it is better to own up to the mistake...
    Tweet an apology and state you will have more to say shortly.

Connect with Influencers

    The influencers from different social circles you had before would come in handy now. If you developed a relationship with them in the past they will be able to help you in your time of need.
    Connect with the social media folks who would be influential in calming the storm.

Get in Front of the Camera

    Create a video apology from a leader in the organization to showcase how serious you take this issue and how you will fix it.
    This may take up some time to get things organized but based on your crisis mitigation plan that was set up initially stakeholders within the organization will know what needs to happen.
    In Dec 2013 Target had a massive security breach where customer credit card data was stolen, Target promptly posted a video online to show how they were reacting.

Look Forward

    After having gone through these steps you will still have some lingering negative sentiment but the company has apologized and taken countermeasures to fix the mistake.
    If this is not enough for some, take the conversation off-line and control the conversation.
    Never get upset, the purpose of taking the conversation off-line is to have your firm move on and address the remaining issues out of the spotlight.