Handling Social Media Crises before They Set Fire to Your Reputation

July 4th, 2013 by | No Comments

Image by Loco Steve

Leveraging social media for marketing is a chance for your company to show its fun side. But while it’s important to build an engaging content marketing strategy, you also need to set up a social media crisis management plan even before an inkling of a problem ignites and sets fire to your reputation. Doing so ensures you won’t find yourself putting out a big fire with a mere glass of water. After all, prevention is the best way to handle social media problems. Your social media team should learn to monitor, determine what qualifies as a social media crisis, and create a must-follow course of action.

First things first, make sure that you’re always well-informed. Your social media team needs to regularly monitor online activities for your brand. Google alerts and other monitoring and listening tools can help give an idea of what social media engagement efforts work the best and the least. These tools also help you know what your fans, followers, and customers think about the company and its products and services.

After setting up monitoring and listening tools, make sure the social media team has a set of qualifiers that indicate if an incident is a social media crisis. When dealing with problems that can put the company’s image at risk, it’s important to choose your battles. The social media team does not have to respond to every negative comment or rant. Rather, have your team set up guidelines on what makes an incident a problem they need to give priority.

To make sure any social media problem is dealt with effectively, create a crisis management plan. When something bad happens, your company must have a strategy on how to go about each situation. Employees just can’t decide the steps that should be done; they need to follow a strict set of guidelines when tackling any crisis. In fact, it’s recommended to create a corporate social media plan and let everyone in the company knows about this.

Also establish a clear chain of command. There should be a point person to go to when an incident happens. As these people are assigned particularly to handle social media and the company’s image, this person or group of people have all the right information needed to make sound decisions.



Trisha Macas makes art with words and ideas. When not smashing her keyboard, she sings in parks and on streets, manages Gryffindor newbies for a Harry Potter community, and stalks Joseph Gordon-Levitt on Twitter. Trisha is a free elf.

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