Social Media Crisis Management

Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have opened whole new vistas of opportunity for people to stay connected, share information and discuss topics. Companies seeking to maintain a corporate image must understand how powerful social media venues can be. A single unhappy customer can spread negative information regarding your company to millions of viewers in a matter of minutes and traditional responses such as press releases and official statements fall woefully short of reaching the same audiences. Social media crisis management must meet the problem on its home turf by countering the negative messages in the same venues in which they have been spread.

In order to implement effective social media crisis management, you must be aware of the risks. This means you'll need to appoint someone to keep an eye on the various social media outlets using alerts or listening software. You can't combat a problem if you don't know it's there. You should also determine what your response plan will be in the event of a crisis. If a disgruntled employee posts a negative YouTube video, you should have someone on staff who can create an effective counter video quickly and efficiently. If the venue is Twitter, someone should be prepared to send tweets as necessary to combat the problem. Your company goal should be to have a plan ready so that in the event of a social media crisis, you can respond as quickly as possible in any format necessary.

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