Many freelance social media managers in Dubai have had to handle at least one social media crisis throughout their careers. If you have never undergone one, then you should consider yourself lucky. Things on social media tend to move quite fast, whether it is something that goes viral or it is a PR strategy gone wrong.
The best chance that you have got on surviving through a social media crisis is to be well-prepared ahead of time. The adverse effects of a blunder on these platforms can be reduced only if you move swiftly and have a good, solid plan in mind.
In this post, we highlight some of the best ways to handle a business crisis on social media correctly.
Is it really a crisis?
The first step to undertake when you want to manage a social media crisis is to analyze its severity. But first, is it even a crisis or just a problem? A social media crisis has a substantial negative impact on the brand’s reputation. It can either start offline, then get taken to the social media channels, or be started online and then shared fast.
Examples of a social media crisis can be voiced opinions that impact the business negatively, embarrassing images, or an inappropriate post or comment made by an employee of the company.
Types of Social Media Crisis
There are different types of social media crisis that an average freelance social media manager in the UAE has to deal with. According to spiralytics, the most common examples include:
- Multi-channel crisis – this happens when the public is offended by your posts (or one of your posts).
- Emerging crisis – takes the form of customer complaints about your products or services
- Industry adjacent – this happens when another company in your industry has a social media crisis, and the name of your brand is pulled to it.
- Old-school trolling – this is one of the most popular types of social media crisis when someone decides to post threatening or abusive content to your pages.
How to Respond to a Social Media Crisis
With millions of daily users of social media in the world today, information is easily shared. However, it is important to note that posts depicting something negative about a brand spread like a wildfire as more people tend to react to them and also share them with many others.
1. Have a solid crisis management plan
Before launching a social media campaign, every freelance social media manager in Dubai should have a plan on what to do in case of a crisis. Without one, the crisis will likely give you a headache, if not worse, such as having the company get closed down. For you to come up with a good social media crisis management plan, the following things should be considered:
- Detection – have a good social media monitoring strategy so that at any point you get mentioned many times at a go, you will be notified for you to check it out immediately.
- Identify – you should seek answers as to what happened, who was involved, and why.
- Respond – have timely responses made to address the issue. You should also have a strategy to handle further feedback or reactions of others on the matter.
2. React swiftly
In many cases, a response time of at least 12 hours is considered sensible for businesses to respond to questions and other mentions on social media. However, for a social media crisis, the sooner you react and quell any controversies, the better.
3. Pause any automated posts
If you use any social media marketing tools to schedule your posts, then it would be smart to pause them temporarily. It would sound inappropriate for you to continue posting as you usually do amid a crisis as it might portray you as insensitive, especially when your upcoming posts are meant to be funny or in a silly way.
4. Assess the situation and apologize if necessary
It is only natural to want things to go back to normal. Many brands would simply apologize and hope that the issue will go away. However, if there is one thing companies should never rush is issuing an apology. A half-hearted one is more likely to damage the reputation of the company instead of saving it.
When issuing an apology, ensure that it appeals to the emotions of the public and make it sound genuine. Also, apart from only using your preferred social media channels to offer the apology, you should also consider other platforms, both online and offline.
5. Don’t panic
At least this is some good news if you ever find yourself in a social media crisis. Many companies have undergone such a stage (others even experience it almost daily), but in many cases, they always get to restore things back to normal.
All you need is to remain calm and implement your strategies while keeping in mind your company values.
A social media crisis is inevitable, but this should not mean that managing it should be a nightmare. Get the best freelance social media managers in Dubai to be the voice behind your brand and to take care of any social media crisis that would happen in the future.