Here at Silver Creative Group, we often write about how the appropriate use of social media can improve our overall marketing strategy, but the key word here is appropriate. When bad things happen, they can be multiplied by social media and often come with rumors that are not even true. When this happens on Facebook or Twitter, a company must take the steps to control the conversation as much as they can and respond to comments as they come.
One example of how social media played a negative role in a company’s image is Chipotle’s food safety problem in the past year. Several customers reported virus outbreaks, but even after the problem was resolved, there was a remaining issue that was poisoning the restaurant’s sales- social media. There was a rapid spread of negative and often untrue information. It was obvious that when it came to tainted food, it was both the food and the brand that got tainted so both needed to be addressed.
Whether it’s for responding to bad reviews or incidents that were beyond control, all businesses can learn to utilize social media to prevent further damage. Remember, bad publicity should be addressed in order to prevent it from getting worse. Here are five simple steps for managing a situation on social media when things go south:
- Take responsibility and fix the situation if at fault.
- Monitor social media sites and listen to what people are saying; this may give valuable feedback. There are services available to help monitor this, such as Mention and Netbase.
- Actively respond to peoples’ concerns.
- Stay consistent to the brand’s message and core values.
- Be kind and genuinely concerned; angry responses will only worsen the situation.
Timing is extremely important, so when crisis strikes, social media is a powerful tool that can be used to quickly reduce the impact of a negative situation with the correct strategy, plan, and analytics.