Mar 31, 2019 / by admin / in: Blog
Any brand no matter how successful it is can be subjected to a social media crisis. Even the most well-known brands like Pepsi, Uber and United Airlines have been through social media crisis. The way brands manage a crisis is what really defines those brands and how professional and committed they are.
What is a social media crisis?
A social media crisis is a problem that escalates on social media, leading to a a massive negative impact on the brand’s reputation or bottom-line.
These crises can take place either due to an advertising Fail, negative review posted by customers, or bad management of problems…etc.
No matter where the strike comes from, a good pre-planned social media crisis can avoid much of the hassle and turns it into an opportunity to promote the loyalty of current customers or bring new ones.
Examples Of Mismanaged Crisis
United Airline Flight
Back in 2017, a conflict occurred in a United airline flight when the flight was overbooked, and 4 passengers were supposed to leave the plane. It ended up with a passenger forcefully dragged from his seat when he refused to leave the plane. The crisis was raised when a video was posted showing what happened in the plane.
It didn’t end here. United CEO commented on the situation by apologizing for “having to re-accommodate these customers” rather than the way the passenger was forced to leave. This led the social media to backfire on the company. The audience created Gifs, memes and funny jokes on the situation.
An Egyptian transportation startup that launched in 2016. The crisis started when an ex-employee posted his bad experience with them and the way he got fired. This encouraged other ex-employees to share their experiences on social media and got social media users to highly engage with them. Moreover, these posts got more and more people to post negative reviews.
Consequently, their marketing manager posted a video regarding the problem, then deleted it right away.
Examples Of Good Management Of The Crisis
The crisis started in 2009 when an employee in one of the pizzerias of the brand posted a video on YouTube playing with the raw ingredients with which the pizza was made, leading to a half million views in two days.
Later, the president of Domino’s Pizza apologized in a video on YouTube, the entry of the brand in Wikipedia was updated and the company made an active presence in social media.
The number of negative sentiments dropped right after the apology video was posted. The only thing is that it was a little late to respond as they didn’t seem to have a crisis plan ready.
How to manage a social media crisis effectively
There is a lot that I can mention to manage a social media crisis even before it happens, but I’ll mention the basics right here:
Before the crisis
Preparing for the crisis before it happens
A brand should handle criticism like a professional and respond appropriately to its fans. And to do that, a pre-crisis plan that is made in worksheets should be set.
We do that by setting all types of social crisis that a brand can face, Setting the proper response to each, setting an FAQ page and so on.
Use social listening tools
Monitoring the conversations that take place online to know what the customers are saying about the brand and be aware of a crisis before it happens.
Knowing what is called a crisis
Negative feedback that is posted in a comment is not a crisis, but if not handled properly, it can turn into one.
During a social media crisis
Pause all advertisements
It’s best to pause any advertisements or campaigns that are running during a social media crisis.
Acknowledge the issue
The worst thing to do is to beat around the bush or not to acknowledge the problem. If the problem started in the company that is been attacked, the best response is to own their mistakes. Explain what really happened and apologize if needed. It’s a bitter pill to swallow but you have to face the music.
Respond in social media
Engaging with the users with compassion and respond to every single inquiry according to the guidelines that have been previously set.
Setting a social media crisis plan is crucial for companies to deliver the best response in a short time.
Have you ever faced a social media crisis? What would you do if you’re in the middle of one?!
Abeer Dawood / Senior webmaster/ Copywriter at Eureka